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Maldives suffering after effects of brutal police repression

Male, Mon, 13 Feb 2012 ANI

Male, Feb 13(ANI): The Maldives are suffering from the effects of the brutal police repression.


Thousands targeted the police for their coup in Male in a series of counter-attacks after the police and military "Star Force" raided homes of Maldivian Democratic Party leaders, beat them with metal poles and squirted pepper spray in their eyes and genitals.


The violence erupted after Mohamed Nasheed was released from "protective custody" followed reports of MDP supporters being savagely beaten by riot police near Male's Republic Square.


According to the police, 18 police stations and several courthouses were razed by angry ousted president Mohamed Nasheed's supporters, who also targeted the prosecutor's office, the government auditor's compound where police officers live, and a police training college where over 40 cars and jeeps, over 100 motorbikes and 200 bicycles were set ablaze.


Video footage also showed Nasheed being pushed and jostled on the streets by riot police and one of his party's leaders being smashed in the head by an opponent with a heavy object as he was being escorted by police.


Some islanders said the violence had been sparked by false local television reports that two MDP figures had been killed in demonstrations in Male, and had been carried out by criminal gangs and drug addicts.


The Maldives Police Service admitted that many of the islands, which make up the tropical holiday paradise, are no longer safe for its officers.


The UK has advised against all non-essential travel and many tourists have cancelled their "holiday of a lifetime".


The islands are now braced for further clashes after the country's new president Dr Waheed Hassan rejected ousted President Nasheed's call for him to stand down, and for fresh elections to be held within two months. (ANI)


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