Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: The Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) on Wednesday denounced the assault by police of its Deputy Secretary General Aishath Aniya and National Council member Eva Abdulla. Both were sitting outside the police headquarters in Male, awaiting an MDP delegation that was inquiring about party representative Abdulla Faseeh's detention earlier in the day.

"The delegation was trying to find out the cause of Abdulla Faseeh's detention and attempting to secure medical treatment for him, as he had sustained injuries from the police," a release said.

"The MDP is deeply concerned about the recent upsurge in police violence against its officials. A policewoman struck Eva Abdulla and a policeman punched Aishath Aniya in the face. Aniya and a local journalist were dragged into a police van and thrown out on the other side of the city," the release said.

In Addu Atoll, 11 party members were assaulted and detained.

"Arbitrary violence and detention weakens the trust between stakeholders in the reform process and, most importantly, between the police and the citizens they have the duty to protect," the release said.

Earlier, in a statement issued on Tuesday, the MDP said the renewal of politically motivated arrests "casts into serious doubt the [Maldivian] Government's ability to deliver sustained and genuine change".