February 9th, 2012
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Nasheed resigned at gunpoint

protests at maldives Male: Mohamed Nasheed, the man who is credited of bringing democracy to a country that was under Gayoom’s 30 years of dictatorial regime declared to the media gathered that he was coerced into resigning . “I was forced to resign with guns all around me. They told me, if I don’t resign, they won’t hesitate to use arms,” he said.

International news agencies claim that the military on Tuesday marched Nasheed into his own office to give his resignation on state TV. “The gates of the president’s office swung open and in came these unmarked vehicles we’ve never seen before and Nasheed came out with around 50 soldiers around him, and senior military men we’d never seen before,” said Paul Roberts, Nasheed’s communications adviser.

While speaking to his cheering sea of supporters at Male, Mr Nasheed demanded the immediate resignation of his successor, President Mohammed Waheed Hassan. “We will come to power again,” Mr Nasheed said. “We will never step back. I will not accept this coup and will bring justice to the Maldivians.”

“India needs to get off the fence…India needs to decide who it supports,” Paul Roberts, the former advisor to Mr Nasheed to a national channel.

Meanwhile Mr Nasheed is facing the threat of being charged and convicted of possession of alcohol.  Police were investigating the discovery of at least 100 bottles of alcohol inside a truck removing garbage on Tuesday from the presidential residence as Mr Nasheed prepared to relinquish power, said police spokesman Ahmed Shyam. Consuming alcohol outside tourist resorts is a crime in this Muslim nation. If convicted Mr Nasheed could be sent to jail for three years, banished to a distant island, placed under house arrest or fined.

Merely a day after Mr Nasheed stepped down riot police and soldiers are alleged to have launched tear gas grenades and beat him and other supporters. Witnesses said around 40 or 50 people including Nasheed had been injured, some severely. Police and soldiers surrounded the main hospital and kept journalists out of Republic Square, the site of the protest on Male’s northern seafront.

“I was quite close to him when they began to charge. He had some cuts and bruises but he was beaten quite badly,” a cousin of Nasheed told the media.


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