President of the Maldives Resigns after Police Mutiny
Things are very fluid right now. However, the protests seem to have started after the arrest of a judge that the now-former President (Mohamed Nasheed) saw as in the pocket of the President before him (Maumoon Abdul Gayoom), who was widely seen as a dictator. This eventually led to some (or all, reports are still unclear) of the police going to the Protesters side, and attacking the Headquarters of Nasheed’s Party, the Democratic Party. Eventually they also attacked the State Television Station after defying order to break up the Protests. It was after these two events that Nasheed Resigned.
Gayoom and Nasheed have been rivals for decades, though Nasheed was definitely the one in jurior position. Before being elected in 2008, Nasheed had been in jail for 6 years of Gayoom’s 30 year reign, which ran from 1978 to 2008.
The Al-Jazeera article here provides some insight into the situation.
Noticing from this, it seems the opposition may have a Hardline Islamist Bent. However, it is unclear if any protesters have died, though certainly some have been injured.
There are three more interesting notes. One involves Gayoom. He seems to have a history of admiring Qutb and his ilk, along with a history of corruption.
During Gayoom’s time in Egypt, he had become particularly interested in Egyptian politics. He closely followed the revolutionary movement led by the Muslim Brotherhood and Free Officers Movement of Gamal Abdel Nasser. He attended several public meetings of the Muslim Brotherhood where celebrated orators like Sayyid Qutb railed against Britain, imperialism and King Farouk’s government. In July 1952, Gayoom was at the Muslim Brotherhood camp, on holiday, when Gamal Abdel Nasser seized power in a bloodless military coup. In his book A Man for All Islands, biographer Royston Ellis wrote, “Maumoon regarded it as a privilege to be able to hear Sayyed Qutb”
Gayoom has been criticised by Maldivian media and opposition parties as a dictator with his rule described as autocratic. He also has been accused of nepotism, due to the fact that several family members, in-laws and close relatives have been granted high posts in his government and cabinet. According to Amnesty International, in the year 2003 “there were severe restrictions on freedom of the press, and political parties were unable to function.”
Gayoom’s opponents and international human rights groups have accused him of employing terror tactics against dissident, such as arbitrary arrests, detention without trial, employing torture, forcing confessions and politically motivated killings. There have also been several allegations of corruption. Even after Gayoom was succeeded by Nasheed parliament’s majority is still controlled by Gayoom.
Also, at 1:31 AM CST, a section on Mohamed Nasheed’s Article regarding his resignation was deleted. Research through WHOIS reveals this IP address comes from the Maldives, and belongs to a Safiyyuddeen Rasheed, who seems to have run for a seat in Parliament in the past, in the Southern Part of the Archipelago. I am unsure what this means.
It should also be noted that the Maldives do not have a good history in regards to Civil and Political Rights.
Update at 2:19:The Judge who was previously ordered arrested by Nasheed has been released. Also, the Judge in question was the Chief Judge of the Criminal Court.