Certain parliamentary committees trying to discredit police: Commissioner Abdulla Riyaz

Commissioner of Police Abdulla Riyaz has claimed “certain” parliamentary select committees are purposefully attempting to discredit the police institution and tarnish its public image.

Riyaz made the remarks during a ceremony today to open a police station on Fenfushi in Alifu Atoll.

The commissioner said that some parliament members were attempting to harass specific police officers of different ranks in the name of “holding the police accountable”. He further said that such practices are not accepted in modern democratic states.

“Some parliamentary committees are very clearly trying to discredit the [police] institution. That is not something I will accept,” he said.

Riyaz said it was the parliament’s ‘241 Committee’ to which the police should be accountable.

“The constitution clearly states that the police should be accountable to parliament’s ‘241 committee’.  I have discussed this with several legal practitioners. They also say that police should be accountable to the said committee. Last week, we have requested advice from the attorney general on this issue,” he said.

Riyaz’s comments come at a time where Parliament’s Executive Oversight Committee (EOC) – which has an opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) majority – has again sent a notice requesting the commissioner appear before the committee.

Previously, he was summoned before the EOC over a leaked video showing the death of a bystander after police attempted to stop a speeding motorcycle suspected of being driven by thieves to flee a crime scene.

Commissioner Riyaz also contended that the police were working independently and “without any political influence” stating that he had never seen a police institution as independent as his in the last two governments.

“I have been in this field for almost 24 years. During my time, I have never seen a more independent police institution than the current one, where police are allowed to carry out their operations independently and free from political influence,” he said.

Speaking to Minivan News, EOC member MP Ahmed Easa dismissed Riyaz’s claims, stating that police had already lost the public’s respect and the confidence once held in the institution, and that there was “no point Riyaz talking about it now.”

“The police lost credibility among the public the day they came out on the streets, toppled an elected democratic government and brutalised the people they were supposed to defend and uphold,” Easa said.

According to the Kendhikulhudhoo MP, the police, especially Special Operations (SO) officers, had become a “mob gang” instead of a respectable police force.

“The SO police now come out on the streets with the sole intention to torture people. They possess dangerous objects which could seriously harm a civilian. We have got video footage to support this claim,” he said.

Easa suggested that parliament’s Privileges Committee look into Riyaz’s “defamatory” comments against parliament and take prompt action on the matter.

He also contended that the EOC had the mandate to summon any individual from the executive branch for questioning, and that this was very clearly mentioned in the parliament’s regulations and the constitution.

“If he does not believe what has been clearly set out in the laws of this country, that means he is no longer fit to be the commissioner of police. He should be listening to the attorney general, not just a bunch of lawyers who tells him things the way he wishes to hear,” Easa said.

Commissioner of Police Abdulla Riyaz, Parliament’s Counsel General Fathimath Filza and Parliamentary Speaker Abdulla Shahid were not responding to calls at time of press.

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10 thoughts on “Certain parliamentary committees trying to discredit police: Commissioner Abdulla Riyaz”

  1. "He further said that such practices are not accepted in modern democratic states."

    Well, exactly, thanks for pointing that out. Unfortunately for the speaker, he does not live in one of those states. He was in charge of bringing to an end the democratic state of Maldives.

    It's not "certain parliamentary committees", but large sections of the public do not view MPS as a professional body. Where were those who "booted" innocent civilians and dragged them through the streets of Male on 8th February? Where are those that looted the Police building on 7th February and damaged State property?

    "Credit" is something you earn. Justice shall be served one day, and Riyaz has to face the law in regard to the overthrow of an elected government.

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  2. Why Fili Nasheed and MDP not talking about the excessive force used prior 8th Feb ?

    First time in the history of Maldives, used the water cannon in 2009 and it was the direct order by Nasheed and this was used against the peaceful demonstrators near STELCO ?

    According to statistics, Filli Nasheed had purchased and used more tear gas than 30 years of Gayyoom dictatorship. ? Why is the consumption of these tears gas can be higher in 3 years than 30 years?

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  3. Hello Mr. Commissioner. I am just wondering out loud whether you have your own interpretation of Article 99 of the Constitution? In plain Dhivehi it states (haa) "komme meehaka" (shaviyani)"vaki meehaka NUVATHA vaki muassasaa akah". To me, that means, the Committee under Article 99 may decide to sub poena an institution as well as an individual, ie., the Committee may summon the Maldives Police Service or may decide to summon an individual police man, including - ahem - you Mr. Commissioner. Similarly, it may even summon MNDF or an individual officer of whatever rank of MNDF. This is what the Constitution says, in 'brave defence' of which you and your peers went out on the streets on the 7th of Feb 2012 in broad daylight before live television. Why are you so reluctant to let the Constitution and the rule of law be implemented on you and those under your command? Are you implying you are above Constitution? Let the Committee sub poena and take depositions and let it do what is in its mandate. You and AG should not interfere in the legislative arm of the state!

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  4. “I have been in this field for almost 24 years. During my time, I have never seen a more independent police institution than the current one, where police are allowed to carry out their operations independently and free from political influence.” I am really worried that I have to agree with you Mr. Nazim. All previous heads of governments have had the power to limit personal vendettas and unacceptable levels of violence by the police. The present puppet Waheed has no such power in the 'Unity Government'. You now have ‘an independent police institution’ absolutely free to do brutalise people as you see fit. In short, a pack of Neanderthals have been given the freedom to carry out their ‘operations’. God help the Maldives!

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  5. @ kuribee...using water cannons is excessive force? Peaceful demonstrators? Fili Nasheed?

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  6. @kuribee on Mon, 25th Feb 2013 10:37 AM

    "First time in the history of Maldives, used the water cannon in 2009 and it was the direct order by Nasheed and this was used against the peaceful demonstrators near STELCO ?"

    Are you still rambling on about this nonsense? Last time you wrote this crap under your old nickname "mody", I told you how retarded this sounded.

    Water cannon is the least forceful way to deal with crowd control that's available to law enforcement agencies all over the world. You really ought to examine your head; "mode", "mody", or "kuribee" that you are.

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  7. 'Fili' or ''no Fili' Nasheedh is the best leader in Maldivian history with a record of 45 000 Maldivians following him. And thats an obvious record all will see even today.

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