Nasheed calls for release of 500 supporters

Former Maldives president Mohamed Nasheed has called for the immediate release of around 500 supporters arrested for allegedly burning down police stations and court houses, a party spokesman said Friday.

According to Xinhua, Nasheed's supporters were arrested during Wednesday's demonstration outside Male, the capital of the Indian Ocean atoll nation.

Maldivian Democratic Party spokesman Imithiyaz Fahmy said most of the supporters were from the southernmost island, Addu.

However, police spokesman Ahamed Shyam denied any arrests. 

Shyam said that only questioning was being carried out as part of investigations to identify those responsible for the burning down of 18 police stations and several court houses.

Following a public demonstration led by Nasheed Wednesday, thousands of party supporters took to the streets of Male as well as on several other atolls.

Addu, the second largest island in the Maldives, has a considerable following for Nasheed. Nasheed resigned Tuesday giving way to his vice-president Mohammed Waheed Hassan.

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