Amnesty condemns violent MNDF attack on a group of “peaceful women protesters” in Addu

Amnesty International has condemned attacks on a group of women in Addu Atoll by the Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF), after obtaining testimonies from victims of a crackdown on demonstrators at a rally during the recent visit to the MDP stronghold by new President Dr Mohamed Waheed Hassan.

“The 20 women were ahead of a crowd of about 70 when the police stopped them, saying they had been ordered not to allow Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) supporters in. The women wore the yellow headbands usually donned by MDP members,” Amnesty reported,  in a statement published on Tuesday.

“The demonstrators halted their march and began to chant slogans against President Waheed, who was making his speech a couple of hundred metres away.

“They were then attacked by an army contingent which has been deployed alongside police in recent weeks.

“Army personnel arrived from a side alley behind the women, who were then caught between them and the police line.

“Separated from the rest of the demonstrators, the 20 were charged by soldiers who wielded batons and used pepper spray, pushed them around, and kicked them on their legs and ribs.

“Detailed testimonies from the [group of 20 women] revealed no evidence of the [female] protesters being involved in any act of violence.”

A woman with a sprained arm

“As the rest of the protesters ran away, army and police personnel chased them, allegedly beating anyone they caught.”

Security forces clashed with other demonstrators during the chase and a policeman was reportedly injured by a thrown stone, Amnesty noted.

Security personnel reportedly then entered the MDP office in Hitadhoo, where more than a dozen other women protesters had run for shelter.

“They chased the women into the storage room of the building and began to beat them,” Amnesty reported.

“Amnesty International learned that one woman had her arm twisted and sprained when MNDF soldiers grabbed her. They then took her glasses off, forced her to open her eye and sprayed it with pepper spray. She said they pressed her against the wall and kicked her with their boots.

“Another woman said that they began to beat her on her breast, repeatedly shouting they would see to it that she does not breast feed again.

“A third woman showed her badly bruised arm where she said that soldiers had severely and repeatedly beaten her.”

Amnesty noted that both sides had blamed each other for promoting violence, and that human rights in the Maldives “have become heavily politicised.”

“During clashes between the MDP supporters and security forces on 8 February, up to 10 buildings, including police headquarters and a court building, were burnt down in Addu city, an MDP stronghold,” Amnesty observed.

“The government has blamed MDP supporters for the destruction. Scores of people were detained in Addu following the 8 February clashes and were tortured or otherwise ill-treated in custody.”

“Police have continued to deny torturing the detainees or using excessive force against MDP protesters.”

In a press statement following the attacks, police dismissed the allegations as “lies” and said that the police only stopped the demonstrators who attempted to break into the area blocked by the security forces.


27 thoughts on “Amnesty condemns violent MNDF attack on a group of “peaceful women protesters” in Addu”

  1. I just wonder why Amnesty fails to condemn the voilence brought on by the MDP activists causing millions of damage to the police and government and also to private property. No wonder why the body has become a lauging stock among many.

  2. Ok! dats it Amnesty!Now you will be at the receiving end!Are they trying to teach us what happnened in our own island based on stories told by 'yellow' individuals?? and leaving out the other side??Don't play with us to promote any PERSONAL AGENDA else you will end up losing any credibility which you have left and receiving world wide condemnation yourself! You have no idea what we maldivians are n what we can do!NEVER UNDERESTIMATE US!

  3. @Miner

    Shows how much you care when you put millions in damage before people. First comes the people, then the Government. There is no excuse for police brutality!

  4. Money money, yes sir !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    According to Islamic rules and regulation, coup government police salary is haram, and their wife or husband and children are not allow to use their haram salary. Shame on Maldivian police.

  5. These human beasts. Unless this government investigates these atrocities, the west should stop all the assistance. Join the Human right activists at ITB fair.

  6. Amnesty my foot. Stay out of Maldives and its affairs. Where were you when so many ordinary people of this country were hurt or killed frequently by the MDP thugs? If you can't be unbiased, shut your gobs. We don't care who the hell are you guys and you cannot make us do things the way you want. This country has intellectual people who are capable of resolving our issues in the best interest of our country.

  7. Dear Amnesty, I take full responsibility of what happened to those women during the protests. It was be who was a chicken myself and stayed behind an dsend them to fight for me. It was me who brain washed them to face the police and incite them to use force against the women. I am very ashamed of myself today and I am sorry for using our women in these protests in this way. Please forgive me Amnesty 🙁

  8. Oh no again this F Amnesty International....where are you when atrocities are commited by Mohamed nasheed the thug? where were you? Oh did I hear someone say stop all the assistance from the west? boy, I think you are too out of touch from whats happening in the west...their coffers are empty. Cant even afford to buy a bread for their own people.

  9. While all the police brutality was going on, our human rights commission members were having dinner with Waheedheen at Bandos! What a shameless bunch of people! Let's close down the HRC here!

  10. What, no pictures of MNDF or Police attacking them, still?

    Until credible proof surfaces, these are all allegations.

  11. Lucabrazi we maldivians are two faced cowards thats what we are. Its all talk. So dont get ahead of yourself

  12. Wearing Burugaa, Showing Bra..Whatever Happnd to the Dignity of Muslim Women!!

  13. Dear Simba,
    Dignity my foot, what happened to so called MUSLIM men respecting women. No true muslim will ever harm a woman!!!

  14. We would never have freedom when we have thugs running the country.
    Until 2008 we had a dictatorship and from 2008 to now we have had anarchy and thug rule. All parties are responsible for this including MDP, DRP,PPM, Adaalath and Juhooree Party.

    It is only we get responsible people i government that we would prosper. Gayoom was not that man, Anni is not that man and as for Waheed that man does not even have one seat in the Majlis.

    It is time Maldivians get their head out of their arses and look around and form a party that is decent and would look after the interests of all the people instead of a selective people like Yameen, Thasmeen, Reeko Moosa and Maria Didi.
    These people have become filthy rich at the expense of the people and Maldives yet idiots are running after them and making them semi- gods out of them.
    Maldives would never change unless people change for the better.
    We have seen yesterday that so far people have not changed for the better.

  15. these women got injured not when they were peacefully working or staying at home. Whether its a man or woman , human rights will have to be same for all and can not have gender discrimination.

    The country is deep shit because of few MDP people and Anni. The good guys in MDP need to come out and let Kenereege regime go and then peace and harmony can prevail.

    same with Maumoon, and he need to go away and we have enough of you dictatorship also.

  16. Mode:

    Oh wow, so are you saying women should just "peacefully work" and "stay at home" all the time in case they get the **** kicked out of them?

    And I suppose the people that orchestrated the entire coup have nothing to do with the state of the country either eh?

  17. Dear Shina
    What you are saying is right, but just coz they did that doesnt mean the women should go on showing there bra. Now therez no diff between both dho..

    No True muslim will harm a women and also No True muslim women would show there bra..

    eh fenvarakah nun mi vetteny dho

  18. Why doesnt Amnesty condemn MDP activists actions such as throwing bricks and stones and flagpoles at Police during the recent demonstration ? Why doesnt Amnesty International condemn the MDP activists who torched the buildings in Addu ? Why doesnt Amnesty International condemn the torching of peoples shops in Male by MDP hired hooligans ? Why doesnt amnesty condemn the torching of peoples cycles and vehicles by MDP activist ?

    MDP is resorting to a very deceptive tactic in these demonstrations. Their strategy is simple: their goons will hide behind the women supporters and throw stones and bricks at police. If the police respond to a dozen bricks thrown at them by trying to arrest a protestor, then MDP will resort to screaming "POLICE BRUTALITY", and fall down on the ground pretending to be hit. MDP are nothing but a bunch of cowards.

    Amnesty should investigate prior events that happened before making a statement. They should also not be biased toward one party, and should condemn violent acts committed by MDP activists too.

  19. Actual thugs are raised during Maumoon's regime... Every single Maldivian knows this.... Theres no reason to criticise Amnesty International when they try to do the right thing for the Maldivians... Thank god they didnt practise sanctions against poor and uneducated Maldivians


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