“Certain actions by protesters could be classed as terrorism”: Police Superintendent

Superintendent of Police Abdulla Nawaz has claimed that certain actions performed by protesters in the recent demonstrations in Male’ could be defined as acts of terrorism.

The recent protests in the capital have seen supporters of former President Nasheed clash with riot police, resulting in multiple arrests and damage to police property.

Nawaz told Minivan News on Monday (February 18) that certain acts performed by protesters over the last few days – including setting fire to a police vehicle – “could be classed as terrorism”.

“It is not that we [Maldives Police Service (MPS)] are directly saying it was terrorism, but more the setting fire to a police vehicle and barricade, as well as threatening phone calls to officers, could be defined under terrorism.

“We always ask protesters not to opt for violence, it doesn’t matter which party they belong to. I personally believe things should not have happened like they have been recently,” Nawaz added.

Superintendent Nawaz, who is also Head of Public Affairs Department, stressed that while the police welcomed peaceful protests, demonstrations over the last three days have not always remained that way.

Asked whether police would have to respond differently to tackle “actions that would be defined as terrorism”, Nawaz said: “From the torching of  a vehicle to protesters throwing stones and bottles at police, of course police will have to act differently depending on how serious the crime is”.

On Saturday night (February 16) a police vehicle belonging to the Police Family and Child Protection Department was set on fire while parked in Male’.

Police also claimed protesters set fire to a police barricade in the early hours of Sunday (February 17) morning.

Following the recent protests, a statement from MPS released today announced that the Criminal Court had issued warrants for the arrest of 16 individuals allegedly involved in the “unrest and mob violence” in the recent protests of the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP).

A police press briefing revealed that a total of 84 people, including two minors and four females, had been taken into police custody following the unrest.

Out of 61 individuals later presented to the court, 16 were allowed to remain in police custody in order to continue with the investigation.

According to the statement, Nawaz said police will also continue investigations into those who have also been released by court order.

Officers injured, harassed on the street

Speaking at the press briefing Nawaz said that in the last four days of the protest, 14 police officers and one Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) security officer had suffered injuries from protesters throwing bricks and glass bottles into police lines.

Nawaz said that the recent protests could be described as peaceful assembly adding that the protest “is rather believed as an act to impeded police duty and terrorise the capital city Male’”.

According to the statement, “Police officers of different ranks have received threatening calls and text messages from unknown numbers from abroad”.

The statement specifically notes an incident whereby a police officer on the street was harassed with inappropriate language in front of his three-year-old child, “who has since suffered from psychological trauma”.


8 thoughts on ““Certain actions by protesters could be classed as terrorism”: Police Superintendent”

  1. wonder what they call those police shenanigans on 7 feb last year ? A mauloodh, maybe.

  2. Nasheed tactics of bringing people on the road damaging public assets and threatening Police is for sure can be classed as terrorism.

    By having this comments made, Nasheed and his allies will not be able to tolerate and they will attack the person who oppose their views

  3. Some interesting definitions from Wikipedia, take note when you use such words that there are a number of interpretations.

    The word "terrorism" is politically and emotionally charged and this greatly compounds the difficulty of providing a precise definition. Studies have found over 100 definitions of “terrorism”. The concept of terrorism may be controversial as it is often used by state authorities (and individuals with access to state support) to delegitimize political or other opponents and potentially legitimize the state's own use of armed force against opponents (such use of force may be described as "terror" by opponents of the state).

    Terrorism has been practiced by a broad array of political organizations to further their objectives. It has been practiced by both right-wing and left-wing political parties, nationalistic groups, religious groups, revolutionaries, and ruling governments. An abiding characteristic is the indiscriminate use of violence against non-combatants for the purpose of gaining publicity for a group, cause, or individual. The symbolism of terrorism can leverage human fear to help achieve these goals.

  4. What about those certain actions that you Police did on 06th, 07th and 08th to our people? Isn't that terrorism? Shame on you Mr. Superintendent!

  5. Freedom of expression does not equal to terrorism, but arson goes in that direction unfortunately.

  6. What do you call 12 SO officers barging into someones private property at 3:00 without the permission of the owner, or a court order chasing a protestor seeking refuge and beat him senseless.

  7. @Fathimath on Tue, 19th Feb 2013 7:30 AM

    It is possible that some one protesting at what ever rally or protest may seek refuge at someone's home due to circumstances which often happen to be baton charge by SO of the Police!

    If Police or whoever wants to take in to custody someone taking refuge in someone's home in any circumstance, I would think that the Police should speak to the landlord or someone who is in charge of the property, explain what happened, and do what is necessary!

    They can never do what you say they have done! There is no LAW that can justify this action!

    If what you said was done, the people sleeping in the property would surely be terrified! They surely were terrorized!

    Polite Police, anywhere in the world would knock on that particular door, wished them and apologized for the interruption, explained what happened, and take into custody who ever was in their premises and taken the refugee away in a decent manner, then beaten the hell out of him/her elsewhere!

    But beating the hell out of someone within someone's property, or even in a residential area is not only terrifying the occupants, but terrorizing the neighborhood!

    And this is what exactly the Police Commissioner Riyaz promised the people of this country when they took over the country after defeating the Military!

  8. I would consider it terrorism, when the religion is forced down your throat on mullahs words!!!!


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