Arson, rubber bullets, batons and pepper spray: MDP protests continue

Violence escalated during ousted Maldivian Democratic Party’s (MDP) protests on Wednesday night in Malé, with the party alleging police used rubber bullets and pepper spray, beat protesters with batons, and used excessive force to disperse the party’s four-day long protests. Police have denied the allegations.

Meanwhile, police barricades and a car belonging to Minister of Human Rights and Gender Dhiyana Saeed, were set on fire in Malé while a police station was torched in Noonu Atoll Holhudhoo Island.

Police have said they believe the arson attacks were connected to MDP’s protests, but the party denies the allegations.

A Sun Online journalist was also hit on the head with a battery thrown by a protester and a Raajje TV cameraman alleged police assaulted him during MDP’s protests. The Maldives Broadcasting Commission (MBC) has raised concern over both incidents.

The MDP has held regular marches calling for early elections, alleging President Mohamed Nasheed was ousted in a coup d’état on February 7.

Protests will not end until new President Dr Mohamed Waheed Hassan’s government is brought to an end, MDP has said, and has called on the public to display a yellow flag in their homes to show their support for the party and have urged islanders to come and join ongoing protests in Malé.

However, police have said they “no longer believe MDP’s protests to be peaceful” and said that the purpose of the protests seem to be “heckling police and obstructing police duty instead of demonstrating for early elections.”

In response, the MDP in a statement said police solicited gang members and government supporters to create unrest on Wednesday night in order to cast the party’s protests as violent.

Protesters remain gathered at the junction of Chaandhanee and Orchid streets at the time of press.

“Excessive Force”

The police used excessive force to disperse protests on Wednesday night, MDP has claimed in a statement. “Police in full riot gear have attacked unarmed protesters with batons and boots and pepper-sprayed protesters at close range. Furthermore, police are extremely verbally abusive towards journalists and protesters. Eye witnesses have said police used rubber bullets to disperse the protests last night resulting in severe injuries,” the party said.

Police allowed government supporters and gang members behind police lines to throw stones at protesters and set fire to police barricades in order to “create violence to disrupt protests,” the MDP alleges.

But police have denied allegations, claiming it was the protesters who threw pavement bricks, water bottles and batteries at the police.

“Five policemen were injured,” police Spokesperson Hassan Haneef said. “I would also like to note protesters had gathered a pile of bricks to throw at the police. They also set barricades on fire.”

When asked if the arson attacks were connected to MDP’s protests, Haneef said “we have suspicions as the MDP is constantly calling on the public to cause injury to the police.”

The police station on Holhudhoo Island was torched at 2:30 am, while Saeed’s car was torched at 4:00 am. All the furniture, three bicycles and motorcycles were damaged beyond repair in the police station while the car’s windshields, trunk and backseat were destroyed in the fire. A pavement brick and empty petrol can were found in the car, police said.

Reporters Attacked

Private television station Raajje TV’s cameraman Ahmed Shanoon suffered injury to his collarbone in a police attack, MDP claims.

MDP spokesperson Imthiyaz Fahmy also said he was “saddened and concerned” by the injury caused to Sun Online reporter Murshid Abdul Hakeem. A battery thrown during the protest hit Hakeem on the head.

Two journalists were briefly detained on Monday evening. Raajje TV journalist Asward Ibrahim Waheed said police rushed at and surrounded him as he attempted to obtain footage of police beating a protester.

Police then grabbed his neck, twisted his arm and threw him to the ground, Waheed said. Raajje TV has said police have targeted and assaulted the station’s journalists.

Further, DhiTV presenter Ahmed Ameeth was mobbed by protesters on Tuesday evening.

No journalists from Minivan News were injured covering the protest, despite a report published in local newspaper Haveeru. However a photographer from Minivan Daily – an unaffiliated publication – was reportedly hit by a police baton.

The Maldives Broadcasting Commission (MBC) in a statement today has appealed to the security forces “to allow broadcast media to operate with independence.”

The Maldivian Journalists Association (MJA) did not comment on the Monday arrests, but released a statement on Tuesday calling on journalists to avoid confrontation with the police by adhering to their code of ethics. However, the MJA did condemn the mobbing of the DhiTV presenter in a statement on Wednesday.

Heckling Police

A police statement said protesters had constantly tried to break through police barricades into areas where protesting is banned and said protesters were extremely verbally abusive towards the police.

“Although protesters claim to be calling for an early election, the protest has changed into one to heckle police and obstruct police duty,” the statement said, adding that police did not have a legal say on the issue of elections.

It also raised concern over the allegations of police brutality and denial of rights to detainees and protesters and called on the public to file complaints with the relevant human rights mechanisms instead of “accusing police of unproven allegations.”

Nine people were arrested on Wednesday, the police said.

MDP claims over 80 people have been arrested during the four day protest and 40 continue to remain in police custody.

U.S. Ambassador Patricia Butenis on Wednesday said she was “alarmed” by recent reports of police violence and said intimidation of protesters and attacks on journalists “threaten Maldivians’ freedom of expression and right to information and only contributes to instability.”

Amnesty International has previously condemned police’s “use of excessive force” in dismantling MDP protests.


43 thoughts on “Arson, rubber bullets, batons and pepper spray: MDP protests continue”

  1. Puleez MDP is just desperate for some police brutality is not happening you money crazy losers! stop making up lies on the news.

  2. The United States frequently assassinates their own citizens through the use of drone strikes when said citizens are deemed a threat to national security. One need only recall the demise of one Al-Awlawki to be reminded of this fact.

    Our policemen have surpassed the skill and professionalism of the policing institutions of those very countries that trained our security-personnel, by dint of their refusal to resort to lethal measures in response to MDP terrorism.

    Bravo to our men and women in uniform.

  3. ..the road confrontations may disrupt daily activities and hinder business. Lets not forget, the same happened before president Nasheed was toppled

  4. I think the international community and the local populace has awoken to the reality of tactics employed by the MDP.

    These include making false allegations against their rivals and conducting street demonstrations for the sake of inviting law enforcement officials to take action and then grumbling about such action.

    Also young Zaheena must be reminded that we have a Presidential system of governance meaning that a party cannot be ousted from government. It was Nasheed who apparently resigned (under duress according to him) and therefore he and his appointees who were ousted.

    The MDPs current actions are in direct violation of Nasheeds earlier statements and representations to our foreign partners and also defeats the purpose of conducting talks and carrying out investigations.

  5. Did the brick police threw at protestors last night by any chance hit one of your heads?

    Bravo! Tsk tsk and Fatima, wild insults n comparisons to drones killing US citizens, good to see you all are feeling the pinch, if not a punch.

    Makes you wish life was back to those good old days when gayoom loyal opposition parties were creating nuisance in front of MMA now do ya? Did you sleep particularly well then?

    Perhaps a loud wake up call for those in denial, your aspirations for this country at best has historical value in today's context, what the old regime did to the new, will be nothing compared to the demise that awaits them. Worst case- it won't take us that long to outlive gayoom, might as well keep at it.

    While gayoom is still reciting versus from the Quran in his recent speeches hoping to scare the living into submitting to the afterlife, everyone else except him (even those in opposition) is on Facebook checking updates on kula yellow to see what the police did to its own citizens. Photos , videos, twitter exposes it all..

    And bravo u say to those in uniform...Rules of engagement in a protest dictates police cannot use force that is excess of what is used from a protestor or mob. This the same codes n rules the US trained our fellow policemen.

    Open your eyes abit next time u watch Raajje tv, police threw bricks n sprayed pepper spray at by standers. Those are not policemen. It's the wild wildest in camouflage suits.

    But then again, that's what we want. To strike at your intolerance and impatience. The cat jumps out of the bag!

    Time is ticking...tick tock tick tock...

  6. Last election we chose lesser of two devils - Anni won over gayoom.

    Today, we have a new type of a devil who even refuses to give us a choice.

    Justified actions on the streets? i think so!

  7. Mr Nasheed says he does not want to Presidency.

    He has me fooled there. Well done!

  8. Arson,brute,brick,battery and marble attacks:MDP TERRORISM CONTINUES

  9. Anyone killed by the hands of the oppressor get heaven. Nothing to worry , MDP HABAAYYYS

  10. The brutal dictatorship is back by force and with the propaganda machine in full flow. We must protest to the bitter end against this evil, illegal regime.

  11. "All the king's horses and all the king's men, could not put humpty dumpty back again"

    President Nasheed stood on a higher moral ground, to reform a highly biased and corrupt judiciary. The opposition threatened and then destabilized the country in front of the public using brute force. Nasheed stepped down and egg cracked. There is no fixing it back. The current leaders need to stand on a higher moral ground to convince their legitimacy to rule. So far, they are doing a very poor job convincing the public of their motives and intentions.

  12. Dear Writer...Please correct your reporting; it was NOT a POLICE STATION; you seem to be ignorantly reporting bullshit. it was a place under repair to be used for security services by the island council in collaboration with police. wrong reports make things worse...Please dont write like Haveeru and Sunonline spreading LIES to create hatred towards the good people of this country

  13. the months after 7th february this year have seen the most openly brutally incidents by Maldivian police in the entire history of the country... the more delays without an election date or a conclusion of the investigation on the coup may still make this worse... i fear

  14. Nasheed is the man responsible for this trouble and he is good at doing what he is doing now " violation " and is no good in running a country.

  15. Nasheed used water cannon first time in our history and still you claim he never know that was an "excessive Force" to disperse the protestors.

    Nasheed is a ruthless man and spoiled kid and even during his school days he was arrogant and always try to dominate the class and then use his filthy money from his family to show his wealth to other students in the class.

  16. Stop your fantasies please! there is no paradise you will reach even if someone killed you!

  17. MDP is a terrorist organization and this country is now on a civil war.

    My message to Police - If you give an inch terrorist's will take a meter. Please be tough and save this country.

  18. Stones, marbles, and 'chilli water' should be added to the list in the headline!

  19. hey, when is MDP going to topple the govt.been waiting for that since feb 8 and now its a "foohigadeh". all i can see now is a lot of gibberish from RAJJE BODU DHOGU TV. MDP wants to look menacing but when it comes to real action their drug addicted thugs look like puny little rats infront of the few courages policemen. Bravo to the police force

  20. @tsk tsk - kutti nasheed, everyone saw how you gave bear hugs to every standing man on jumhuree maidhan on Feb7th. And we know why you would go to the extreme to defend what you have now.

    nothing you saw or do will ever justify what Maldives Police forces did to our fellow Maldivians on Feb 8th! MPS have to be reformed and that means kicking out all the sh1t collected from Maumoon era including Abdulla Riyaz.

  21. Haveeru, sun, VTV, Dhitv and even tvm, all fascist propaganda machines. Refuses to fully cover the carnage and brutal beatings by police on the 8th feb. but the moment some polices brain gets a scratch, they get concerned.

    Free media my ass. These are liers and deceivers of the public. If there was a law to ban them, they should be sent to trial for deception.

  22. Well what the hell did you expect, accusing Anni of being irreligious and supporting Policemen to rally against Anni's Government etc!

    I am just an allegedly racist evil Westerner and I myself knew that MDP would react like so and ousting was not good for Maldives

  23. @ ben
    Who asked you to interfere with our matters. It's a universal fact that if you westerners interfered with a Muslim Nation, you break havoc and chaos.You do not bring anything except war. look at Iraq, Afghanistan (infact americans created the taliban to attack Russia) You think we live in the 18th century still. How foolish.we are not gullible idiots unlike MDP thugs. Maldivians did not ask your stupid Anni to bring other religions to this country. most of us were hoping for better services and betters faith in our religion. not to give a few atheists and apostates to break havoc in this country. anni has given more priority to them than the hundreds of people believing in our religion. he could have atleast waited for some time to make our people understand the importance of religious freedom.Instead of making an effort to come into agreement with the religious scholars he chose to defy them and god.
    Most of the MDpians also do not know what they are fighting for. look what Anni and his western cronies brought to our peaceful country. Ihere's no way out of this now but i hope god will show us a way

    Because of him and

  24. TOURISTS - avoid the Maldives, do not visit this backward country ruled by a brutal police state.

  25. @Shimy

    "look what Anni and his western cronies brought to our peaceful country".... I beg your pardon?

    You make want to vomit.

    Are you suffering from long term memory loss? As I recall it was in Gayooms regime that we had thousands and thousands of our young people go to drugs. Gayoom did nothing. His security forces did nothing to stop the drug dealers killing our children and our youth. Politicians now feeding drugs to these people and getting them to do thier mafia work.

    Mode and Tsk Tsk. You can say what you will. But a revolution is sweeping our nation and nothing you can say or do will stop that.

  26. @Mode

    When I was Anni's teacher he would bring extra pencils, erasers, rulers and books to give to the kids who went without. If you call that showing off, that is your perception, not the truth. The reality as I see it was a little boy who cared for others and had incredible generosity towards other classmates.

  27. @Shimy

    Gosh let us pray to Allah that He gives you light to see the truth.

  28. no matter the dictator Anni and his allies to tarnish our nation into a hell but i believe the majority of Maldivian are peaceful people unlike Anni and his thugs.

    Anni is a traitor and he had robbed this country in last three years to an extend where we will be in debts for another 50 years.

    Anni will never be able to come back to power and he can be the president of his own thugs not of this country.

  29. People who see this in a different perspective cannot, ever know the feel of one of these baton charges that could lead one to near death because they are from the same family of the "Monkey Man" who loves candy and sugar cane.

    They squeezed their hand into the tight little hold to take out the candy, but now they cannot do anything.

    Oh! Lord have mercy on these "Monkey People"!
    They are such silly fools!

    tsk! tsk!

  30. People! Be aware!
    It was not only the POLICE who were out on Wednesday night!
    It was a joint operation of Police and MNDF!
    Those who rebelled against the people's elected President now have no square left to move!
    They had 6 Riot Guns with them and were firing into the air (this time). It was a move to get people frightened and also to get used to the kind of cracking noise it sound when fired!
    Police with riot gear, fully covered sitting out on MNDF vehicles?????
    It truly was a joint operation!
    There could be more before the final declaration of a curfew!
    The then "Commander", General Maumoon, only when in uniform will then come and advise his "lap dog" Nazim (who he had groomed when in power for 30 years)who will declare "CURFEW" and try subdue people and force them to retreat home and be the good puppies!

    People of Maldives! Be Aware!

  31. we are aware of what is going on Patriot! that was actually the planned by Anni on 6th Feb. and people like yourself who think that Anni is GOD and will think and will believe that others will be doing same as Anni.

    Shafeea , I was a class mate of Anni for almost 5 years and i have not seen you as a teacher!

    You brainwashed people will never want to hear anything against the cult.

    Anni never was a generous man and he had been a cruel and very rude man to his employees also.

    Ask the DHIVEHI MESTHIRI " staffs who worked under him and how he was.

  32. I realize it is impossible to put aside the political differences/probems in the Maldives at the moment. However, I do not see how any Maldivian in his/her right mind can condone what the police and the MNDF are doing at the moment. Gone are the days when the Maldivian people were prepared to accept whatever is dished out to them. People ARE going to show their dislike of what the regime is trying to do. It is inevitable. It is right that they should.But it would appear that Gayoom's policy is simply to send his pack out to attack like animals. Politics is one thing, behaving like animals towards fellow human beings is another thing altogether.Politics aside, the police and the MNDF are acting like a pack of animals and there is no other way of putting it. What they are doing is wrong. I also worry about the people who try and support these psychopaths with their thoughtless little letters to this website.It simply shows on what side of animal/human evolutionary line you are on! Ooops sorry! I may be insulting the animals!

  33. @ Patriot
    unfortunately what you have described is what your god Anni wanted to do but failed.

    If Anni loves democracy and islam he will end this and ask his supporters to wait and see what the inquiry commission comes up with.
    The inquiry commission is now independent with a member from MDP so why the fuss.
    Wasn't he the one who said that he will accept any conclusion reached by the commission
    Wasn't he the one who said that he does not want Maldivian presidency.
    Was'nt he the one who said that he will never forgive one of the coup leaders, maumoon and now has taken it back.
    isn't he the one who always starts the protests and then disappears from the crowd suddenly leaving all the poor MDPians to suffer all the so called "Aniya"
    you MDP supporters are so blind and unreasonable. No wonder you have a dumb spiritual (the biggest liar of the nation and the whole world)as a leader.

  34. Is it possible that every sentence you people write does not include Islam or Muslims ?

    Maldives is not a 100 % Muslim country
    Maldives is not a 100 % Muslim country
    Maldives is not a 100 % Muslim country
    Maldives is not a 100 % Muslim country
    Maldives is not a 100 % Muslim country
    Maldives is not a 100 % Muslim country

    No matter how hard Dhunya and Jameel. Oh that Jameel was about to cry in that meeting! What a shame going there and embarrassing the whole nation!! I was so embarrassed!

  35. There is no Maldivian who left Maldives will have the same faith in them! Because the government controls everything. They own everything. All the big businesses, the cooperation, all the important lands, judges in their back pockets and they control all the big media companies. Someone stood up to bring a change and you all have been influenced way too long to make you all realize that they got you by the balls !! Most important tool: Religion in Maldives.

    Once you leave Maldives, open your eyes into this world then you really realize that they have been brainwashing you the whole time. I tell you folks you don't have a life in Maldives in the community you live in.

    And by leaving Maldives I mean going to a developed country not to Pakistan!

  36. It renders me helpless and destroys my hope in a better future for this country when highly educated, well read and extremely intelligent young leaders on both sides, such as kutti nasheed and aslam, fail to rise beyond circumstances and choose to lurk behind the shadows of the befallen.

    Even though it is not said aloud yet, it is very obvious many maldivians know that these bricks, batons, chilli water and pepper spray we so like to dramatize are just mere props and spectacles used in a game of thrones played by two people, Anni and Gayoom.

    It is also fact that both these leaders maintain a failed record in ruling the country. Gayoom left a labelled dictator after 30 years and Anni resigned only to blame gayoom after 3 years.

    I do not want to elect any one of them in next election and it such a shame if there isn't a better candidate who can rise up to them in this country.

    It is perhaps time Kutti, for you to come out from your comfort zone, disassociate yourself with your kind and take a leap of faith. don't you think its a waste of your talent to comment on this website?

    It is time for all those who believe in a greater cause than this whole charade that is going on in this country today to elevate to a higher level of knowing and thinking towards the future.

  37. Who is supporting gayoom or Nasheed here. This is the point.If somebody makes a negative remark to the "kureege seyku raees Nasheed then he/she becomes a gayoom loyalist.If a person makes a negative comment to the gayoom regime then the person becomes a seyku Nasheed loyalist. so it's difficult to make a comment without getting dished by the seyku politicians.

    the point is Nasheed and MDP has become a more goofier party than all other greedy politicians.

    infact i know what is true and what is false here.Seyku Anni is false all together because of his lies and hypocrisy. please watch his videos and interviews of the last three years to comment on my points. by the way before anni came people surely agreed on one thing and that is religion so that part was peaceful unlike other parts but unfortunately as humans are bound to disagree, this will also change. it's inevitable.

    Plus Anni is no better than Gayoom. Who strongly encouraged our youth to take drugs (with the sad condition they were in ) and who tried to legalize alcohol to the whole nation?
    with how many protests were this discouraged and halted. i was one of the first ones to read about that. how many times did seyku Nasheed try to deceive our people on the legalizing part.
    unlike you we are very informed about what has happened before.

  38. @LOL
    maldives is not a 100% muslim country, everyone is aware of this now but i think you misunderstand the point in me mentioning "Seyku Nasheed loving Islam"
    does he respect islam or is he a person trying to disregard and mock Islam?

  39. People like modes and shimmies, born into the family of the "YOOM",fed and brought up with people's money can never have any patriotism!

    For people like you, mode and shimmy; the "YOOM" will always be right! No matter what!!!!!

    But mark my word. No Tom or Jerry can bypass judgement!

    You just seem to be fed fat to support the "YOOM", who just cannot let the Presidency of Maldives be had by anyone! Not even by a son or daughter!

  40. @ patriot
    people like you patriot, born into the family of seykism and Nasheedism can never understand the meaning of democracy

  41. I am so so sure that muhammedh nasheedh is the best and he will be the president on I'll just say come on can do it,you will do it by your fans.I know that the bad stories of nasheeh are all rumors..I will always love yellow one except nasheedh is going to be the president.

  42. There's only one thing to say,that's someone in mdp Or ppm will be the president..that's all.3 years is more than enough..


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