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Saturday, August 14, 2004

Law and Order Restored Through Emergency Measures (in Male', Maldives)

The President today declared a State of Emergency to prevent deterioration of law and order.

A mob had gathered in front of the Headquarters of the NSS in the early evening of Thursday. Police worked with restraint for over seventeen hours to peacefully disrupt the mob through dialogue and discussion. The mob comprised various unruly elements of society, and a considerably large number of curious bystanders. The mob made various ad hoc demands, including the release of a number of criminals.

However, tensions escalated this afternoon as the mob turned increasingly violent, stabbing two unarmed policemen, who sustained serious injuries, and subsequently torched a Government building. Having exercised maximum restraint despite these criminal acts, when the mob attempted to charge down the entrance to the Police Headquarters, the Government authorities finally had no alternative but to implement measures to disperse the mob. As a result, the security services worked closely together to disperse the mob quickly and with the use of minimal force. Peace was restored shortly after and about 80 persons are now assisting the security services with their inquiries.

In order to protect the peace and welfare of all citizens, the President has proclaimed a State of Emergency in Male’ and nearby islands, pursuant to powers vested in him by Section 144 of the Constitution.

Source: P.O., Maldives




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