A group of peaceful women protesters who wanted to mark their opposition to the Maldives’ new president found themselves on the receiving end of a violent assault.
Charged with batons and doused with pepper spray by the Maldivian army (MNDF), they fell foul of the authorities as they attempted to approach a rally in Addu City addressed by President Waheed on 26 February.
The 20 women were ahead of a crowd of about 70 when the police stopped them, saying they had been ordered not to allow Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) supporters in. The women wore the yellow headbands usually donned by MDP members.
The demonstrators halted their march and began to chant slogans against President Waheed, who was making his speech a couple of hundred metres away.
They were then attacked by an army contingent which has been deployed alongside police in recent weeks.