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Maldives Military and Police in force at civil protest site

Male', Maldives. 3.33 pm.
Maldives Military and Police personnel are deployed in force at the site of the civil protest against President Nasheed this afternoon. In spite of this intimidatory presence of armed forces at the protest location, last minute preparations are underway by protest organizers.

The civil protest is organized by civic associations together with several interest groups, withe the stated intent of a peaceful gathering to show dissent against President Nasheed and his Goverment's anti Islamic actions and policies. President Nasheed came to power in 2008, with support from foreign powers, based on his promise to introduce other religions to the 100% Islamic state.

At the same time, Nasheed's militant party is preparing for its anti-civic rally just a few blocks away, at the "Artifical Beach", Male'. Nasheed has stated publicly that he will be at the forefront of the MDP's anti-civic rally. Police and Armed Forces presence at this site is reportedly negligible.
The Maldives Police Service has said that it will take stop the civic rally if there are any inflammatory remarks made by speakers at the rally. In the past 3 years under President Nasheed, the Maldives Police Service has gained a reputation for street beatings, unnecessary use of force against civilians and the use of batons and tear gas against peaceful protestors. Video and photo evidence of police brutality against civilians under the Nasheed regime are abundant. Hence, it is widely expected that such action will again be seen by the general populace.

The Maldives Military has also stated that it will act in concert with the Police against the civilians, should it have reason to believe that the protest may get out of hand.

More updates coming up.

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