Thursday 10th of October, President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih ratified the second amendment to the ‘Prevention of Terrorism Act’.
As per the new amendments, the Maldives Police Service is authorised to make warrantless arrests, in specific circumstances, for certain criminal acts that constitute terrorism, as well as to carry out inspections and strip searches.
The bill criminalises advocating extremist ideologies, including extremism in politics and religion, fear and hate mongering.
The reforms have been met with public concern, including Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) lawmakers.
Although MDP expressed concern that the new changes would infringe basic human rights and freedom of the individual, and in particular the new powers permitted to the police to make warrantless arrests, Abdulla Afeef, the Legal Counsel of the President’s Office, assured that the bill would not limit any significant rights.