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More than 30 people still in police detention



More than 30 people arrested since the state of emergency declared last month remain in detention, the opposition has claimed.

Hundreds were arrested during protests against the “unlawful” 45-day emergency rule, according to the Maldivian Democratic Party. The state of emergency ended on March 22.

Hisaan Hussain, the party’s legal director, said Tuesday “records show that 32 people arrested since the declaration of SoE are still in detention.”

The Maldives is experiencing its most politically turbulent period in years, following a shock Supreme Court ruling that triggered the state of emergency.

There is also political gridlock between the opposition and the government, thanks to an unresolved crisis hanging over the Maldives since 2015.

The government last month called for talks to resolve it, revealing that secret negotiations had been held with former president Mohamed Nasheed.

Political party talks were first held in 2015 after months of turmoil brought on by the arrest and imprisonment of Nasheed and ex-defence minister Mohamed Nazim, with the opposition and government attempting to bolster their position through a series of demands.

The government blames the opposition’s “preconditions” for the failure to revive the talks, despite several rounds of negotiations aided by a United Nations envoy.

But a new round of “productive engagements with national, political and civil society counterparts” was held by a UN delegation that left the Maldives on Tuesday.

The delegation met opposition parties, including the MDP, and also held discussions with the government and ruling party. It met Foreign Secretary Ahmed Sareer, who  reiterated the government’s commitment to engaging constructively with the UN.

Imthiyaz Fahmy, the MDP’s spokesman, was unavailable for comment.

But an unnamed opposition official told VFP that the UN wanted to identify obstacles for political party talks and ways to overcome them.