A literal political witch hunt

It’s pretty standard practice for autocratic governments to accuse their domestic opponents of being part of a CIA plot or global Zionist conspiracy, but since ousting democratically-elected president Mohamed Nasheed from power in February, the Maldives new rulers seem to be scraping the bottom of the barrel in looking for excuses to crack down on ...

By , a former associate editor at Foreign Policy.
627524_blackmagic.jpg
627524_blackmagic.jpg

It's pretty standard practice for autocratic governments to accuse their domestic opponents of being part of a CIA plot or global Zionist conspiracy, but since ousting democratically-elected president Mohamed Nasheed from power in February, the Maldives new rulers seem to be scraping the bottom of the barrel in looking for excuses to crack down on his supporters:

Earlier this week, police raided the opposition MDP protest camp at Usfasgandu on Tuesday morning, after obtaining a search warrant from the Criminal Court and cordoning off the area from MDP demonstrators.

One of the reasons for the search as stated on the warrant included: “suspected black magic performed in the area.”

It’s pretty standard practice for autocratic governments to accuse their domestic opponents of being part of a CIA plot or global Zionist conspiracy, but since ousting democratically-elected president Mohamed Nasheed from power in February, the Maldives new rulers seem to be scraping the bottom of the barrel in looking for excuses to crack down on his supporters:

Earlier this week, police raided the opposition MDP protest camp at Usfasgandu on Tuesday morning, after obtaining a search warrant from the Criminal Court and cordoning off the area from MDP demonstrators.

One of the reasons for the search as stated on the warrant included: “suspected black magic performed in the area.”

Under evidence, the warrant alleged that people in the Usfasgandu area had on May 25 thrown a “cursed rooster” at MNDF officers.

The government has detained at least one MDP on accusations of socrcery, and yesterday released photographs of "evidence" collected from the camp: 

The evidence collected included pieces of paper with Arabic inscriptions, incense, a box of unused condoms, a discarded ‘Tiger’ beer can, and a laminated sheet containing photos of police officers marked with ‘ticks’ and ‘crosses’.

Don’t know about black magic, but sounds like they were having some fun at least. 

Joshua Keating was an associate editor at Foreign Policy. Twitter: @joshuakeating

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