19 year-old alleges torture in police custody

A 19 year-old has alleged that he was arbitrarily arrested near his home on Monday night and tortured in police custody.

Ali Shuaib, 19, showed Minivan News bruises and swelling on his leg, hand and nose.

“Police arrested me while I was waiting near my house to have a chat with my friend,’’ he explained. “While waiting there, before the police squad arrived, we saw a group of people fleeing; we did not knew what was going on and we did not pay much attention.’’

Shuaib claimed a squad of police officers arrived after a short while and told him not to move.

“Unaware of the situation, I stayed calm, they came and checked me, told me I was clear and had nothing with me,’’ he said. “But they said their superiors had ordered them to detain me for 23 hours and they handcuffed me and took me to Galolhu Police Station first.’’

At the Galolhu Police Station, he continued, police officers filled his detention form and transferred him to the ‘Atholhuvehi’ custodial in Male’.

‘’While I was there, a police lance corporal came and asked ‘what the hell I was doing there’. His voice was aggressive and he spoke rudely,’’ he claimed. “I told him it was none of his business because police custodial is not his property.’’

After some verbal sparring, Shuaib claimed that the police officer hit him in the face.

“I hit back and fought in my defence,” he said. “A while later the whole duty shift came and attacked me, they hit me in the chest and back with their ankles, hit my foot with a tin trash can.

“Then when I was almost unconscious they put me in solitary confinement, handcuffed in a cross position with both hands and feet locked together. They even stepped on my back and pressed hard while I was kept in that position.”

The next duty shift came in after about two hours, he continued, and removed the handcuffs and transferred Shuaib to another cell after offering him water and medication.

“When I was released from the handcuffs I could hardly breathe; the next duty shift came and gave me water and poured water on my head and kept me on a chair till I felt better,’’ he said.

Shuaib was released without being presented to court.

“It is very common now, police arrest any person they wish and keep them in custody for 23 hours,” he claimed.

According to the Constitution of the Maldives, any person detained should be presented to court within 24 hours of arrest.

Police Sub-Inspector Ahmed Shiyam told Minivan News today that if such a case was filed with the police, “police will investigate the case applying professional standards and take necessary action.’’

Shiyam said if Shuaib was not confident with the police he could file the case with the Police Integrity Commission. No case had been lodged, he said.

Shuaib was recently arrested on suspicion of crimes including murder, robbery and assault, but was released without charge.

Press Secretary for the President Mohamed Zuhair said that custodial torture is “strictly prohibited” by the president.

“It is not something that should happen, and there are many ways [Shuaib] could pursue the case,” Zuhair said. “He could file the case at the Human Rights Commission, and Police Integrity Commission, and the case would be investigated.’’

On July 15, police and the Maldives National Defense Force (MNDF) arrested almost 60 people, including minors, in a joint special operation to curb escalating gang violence in the capital.

Many of those who were arrested  in the special operation alleged that they were mistreated and abused during their arrest and detention.


14 thoughts on “19 year-old alleges torture in police custody”

  1. I think some cops are just pissed off at the judicial system where murderers and rapists go free. Maybe it's frustration from their side having to arrest the same people over and over again for the same crimes, and letting them go again.

    On the other hand though, this SHOULD be investigated. Police just can't beat up people. Well, since this has been the culture of Maldives for sometime, I am not surprised.

  2. "Press Secretary for the President Mohamed Zuhair said that custodial torture is “strictly prohibited” by the president." yeah why this happening. Your words has no more value. HEP has full control over MNDF & POLICE it appears that HEP has two faces One as a Dictator and in the eyes of Foreign leaders a Hero for democracy..

  3. This kind of police behavior on the roads of Male' is a common thing. They drag anyone just to show they are doing something.

    Last year my nephews were taken to police. Here is the story..

    Just before 12 midnignt one of my nephews (19 years)and a friend walked to their car parked on the road. As my nephew started the car to drive off, 18 police surrounded the car and started banging on the car. My nephew in his panic could not even let the window down. He fumbled with the automatic buttons totally shaken. The police threatened to shoot if they don't open the car in one minute.

    Anyway the boys managed to open the door and they were dragged out, pressed against the wall and body checked. The neighbors gathered and told the police they were known around there and are on holiday from their studies abroad. Police response was those who come from abroad are the most devious. Anyway they asked my nephew to get into his car and a police man got in. The other boy was loaded into a pick up vessel and driven 9off. During the drive, my nephew was asked how fast can the car drive and if he will show the speed by driving fast. The boy though very scared and shaken kept his senses and did not drive fast as the police said.

    The boys were held in custody for about three hours and their mother went and tried with all the contacts she had to get them out. My brother who was abroad called anyone her could. Now as this family is "known" by some people enough to recognize that these boys may be innocent, the arrested kids were lucky.
    What happens to those who have not links, who are less connected.

    I personally took the matter to the police and met a whole team and discussed the issues in this. The team who met me consisted of district in charges and was about 8 police team leaders.

    How can the Maldivian community be secure and have a safe living environment. While the community lives in fear of those in drugs and crime, we also have to look over our shoulders to see if the police is caving in on us with their batons. Police take people off the road in the hope they find someone who might be a trouble maker.

    Most citizens feel like they are aliens to their own country and police and the system plays a strong role in alienating them. I often feel myself versus the police and the national security, maldivian citizen versus them with their armory and huge tanks as they try to instill a silent message of who is in charge here, as if telling us that we are the enemy here..

  4. So.... they expect him to file a case about the police, with the police?

    After he got allegedly got beaten up by an entire shift of police officers?

    Sign someones death sentence why don't you Mr. Shiyam.

    Where's the HRCM? Or do you have to be in jail first for them to care....

    The public and the media needs to stop sucking up to the police as if they're some mythical force.

    They're public servants. About time they started serving the public.

    I was assaulted a while ago, the officers sent to the hospital who were apparently in charge of my case said they couldn't help if I didn't know the names of who attacked me.

    This was less than 2hrs after the incident and just a few minutes after surgery. I guess that somehow counted as an investigation.

    Didn't even say they were sending people to check if they were still there


  5. I think police is incapable of handling pressure as there are several 100's inmates free on Male' roads because as per government there is not enough room in prion for them in jail. these 100,s of criminals are sentence by court but the government does not have the will to implement it. and the other thing is that police lack professionalism in dealing with high profile crime which deteriorate the quality of evidence, which won't be able to prove beyond reasonable doubt against the convict. government is playing blame game without doing their responsibilities.

  6. Drastic action needs to be taken. The progressives (President Nasheed) and a few others do not have the power to curb this type of brutality. The constitution was arranged in such a manner to curb any efforts to liberate Maldives from what the realists of the DRP/PA perceive to be 'maintenance of social harmony' (i.e. brutality...)

    The tyrants have designed the system so that their spirit (the legacy of their rule and thinking) will control the nation forever.

    If Anni wants to change all of this, he has to continue to pursue radical change, as, practically, he is still really only a President in name only.

    The constitution needs to be changed.

    I have often met people who have claimed well Pres. Nasheed is no better and what change and they blame the President? Very sad...

    Whether Anni is capable of bringing change or not time will tell, but one thing is for sure, his progressive, social justice oriented thinking is NOT IN CONTROL...

  7. The Maldives is still controlled through fear. I see the same fear everywhere that I saw in Maumoon's time.

    I can't stand it! It hurts me to see grown, strong, intelligent and potentially beautiful minded Maldivian men act all docile and submissive like little pretty maids out of fear of speaking their minds!

    How stupid I was to think that the people could be liberated from fear by changing the President and the Constitution when the elements which create this fear and oppression are deeply rooted in the phsyche of the people, in the culture.

  8. I have absolutely no sympathy for this man. He has admitted physically attacking a police officer inside the police station. The injuries are probably consistent with what happened when the police tried to restrain him. This man is a common hooligan who doesn't deserve to be identified as a victim of police torture. Minivan News, you have better things to do than promote the cause of people like this.

  9. Perhaps the Chief Police should give a chance to the peoples of the country to step in all those who are a step ahead of law and enforcement!

    Let the peoples open their court, bring in everyone under suspicion to justice and install a 100% proof Parliament, Police and Judiciary and let us see the difference!

    It is a pity that some Police are unaware about what the people know about them!

  10. @Wine & Pork Lover
    The Police does not have the right to hit a civilian or a person in custody. And if they do attack we have the right to defend ourselves. They do not have the right to abuse us.
    They are public servants and it is high time they start serving us.
    Sub Inspector Ahmed Shiyam, do you really believe that if the boy put a complaint in they would investigate? Think not!!!
    The police has no respect for us civilians.

  11. having spent the morning reading the various comments concerning the issues of police attitude towards the poplace in general, i cannot help but to remind people everywhere in the world that every country has problems of this nature. Policemen are human beings with all the tendencies of such, and are subject to all tha pro and adverse attitudes and feeling of other beings. It is not a matter of legislation overhauling, or any other type of action. Our own police regulating bodies in U.K. are self governed and are extreemly reluctant to investigate it,s own personel. Is there a solution to the problem I think not, except though dogged perserverence in pressing any grevience forward until justice for the individual complaint is acted upon. Not all cases recieve justice, but very occasionally the bad apple will be cooked and discarded, and that gives all complainees the satifaction of knowing that there is some jusification in complaining of alledged police misbehavour whenever, or wherever it happens.

  12. “I hit back and fought in my defence,” he said. “A while later the whole duty shift came and attacked me, they hit me in the chest and back with their ankles, hit my foot with a tin trash can.
    “Then when I was almost unconscious they put me in solitary confinement, handcuffed in a cross position with both hands and feet locked together. They even stepped on my back and pressed hard while I was kept in that position.”(!!!!!)

    (Who ever taught them this kind of shameless behaviour must take the responsibility?)

    Varah fen'navidhani gothakah thedhuveri kamai eku kanthah thah kurumakee konme meehehgeves vaajibakah dheki adhi ehenme efadha masakathehga insaafaai eh'gothahbayaku amal kuramun dhanikoh nuvatha dhaanama,e masakaiy kuramun dhaa bayakah huras elheyfadha e'vves amaleh hingumakee e ee police kamugai viyas, alhugandumenge dheenuga angavaifai vaa nama, ekan ha'llu kurumah beynunvaa e fan'nuge bayakuge eheetherikan libidheyn jehey kameh kamah vaane thaa ey alhugandu hithah araa! Kurrega nethas Police codeh ves mihaaru on'naanethaa.



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