Opposition MP Ali Hussain was summoned for questioning Sunday night over a tweet in which he said everyone has the right to defend themselves against the unfair use of force by police officers.
Speaking to The Maldives Independent, Hussain said the police did not directly accuse him of a specific crime, “but it was quiet clear from their questioning and also from the comments they made that I have been accused of obstruction of police duties and of inciting hatred and violence.”
He added: “I have given a statement clarifying that my tweet was referring to section 45 of the penal code which codifies the right to self-defence – a right enshrined in the constitution as well as Islamic sharia and law.”
The threat of criminal prosecution is aimed at challenging both his freedom of expression and right of self-defence against state-sponsored arbitrary and illegal actions, he contended.
“Saying that self-defence is a legal right does not amount to obstructing police duty,” he reiterated, adding that he did not instruct anyone to either do or not do anything specific.
The police have also confiscated the phones of three shadow cabinet ministers of the Maldives United Opposition after summoning them for questioning over a fund set up to help detainees.
Ahmed Thasmeen Ali, Hassan Latheef, and Shidhatha Shareef told the press yesterday that they were also accused of obstructing the proper functioning of the state and the implementation of the rule of law.