A member of former President Mohamed Nasheed’s legal team, Mahfooz Saeed, was stabbed in Malé today.
According to eyewitnesses, two men on a motorbike stabbed Mahfooz in front of the Vaadhee Fresh shop on Maaveyo Magu around 5:00pm.
Mahfooz was rushed to the Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH), where he underwent surgery to remove the knife, which was lodged about three and a half inches deep above his left ear. He has since regained consciousness and his condition is now stable.
A family member told The Maldives Independent that Mahfooz was seated on his motorbike and had stopped to make a phone call when he was assaulted.
Doctors said critical areas of the brain were not damaged and Mahfooz is expected to fully recover in a week, his brother Masthooh Saeed said.
A police media official said the incident was reported around 5:20pm. No arrests have been made yet.
Several opposition MPs have meanwhile received death threats shortly after the stabbing, saying they will be killed “like Mahfooz” if they do not vote against new anti-terrorism legislation currently before parliament.
The stabbing also comes days before Nasheed’s high-profile international lawyers, Jared Genser and Amal Clooney, are due to arrive in the Maldives to visit the opposition leader in jail.
Mahfooz, 26, is an active member of the main opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) and an outspoken blogger on judicial reform.
Mahfooz accompanied MDP national council member, Hassan Ahmed, to the police headquarters this afternoon following a summons for questioning.
Hassan leads weekly prayers for Nasheed at the Islamic centre after Friday prayers. He was accused of “disorderly conduct” and making “unreasonable noise” under section 615 of the penal code.
The former president’s office has meanwhile strongly condemned the stabbing of Mahfooz, noting that it comes “at a time of renewed political tension following President Nasheed’s illegal transfer to jail on 23 August.”
The MDP is also planning to stage a nationwide protest on September 11, the first opposition protest since June when Nasheed was transferred to house arrest amid negotiations with the government. The MDP withdrew from the talks shortly after Nasheed was taken back to the high-security Maafushi prison.