Claims of citizenship for Guantánamo detainees are “total lies”, says Attorney General

Attorney General Husnu Suood has described a claim by the Opposition Dhivehi Qaumee Party (DQP) that Guantánamo Bay detainees will get Maldivian citizenship as  “a total lie.”

After a meeting with the US Ambassador in Colombo last week, DQP has said the agreement between the US and Maldivian government involves granting citizenship to any detainees resettled in the country.

AG Suood said negotiations were still at a very “early stage” and added that claims of the government giving citizenship to foreign detainees were fabricated.

“We are not obliged to give citizenship to foreigners,” he said, noting the same guidelines would apply to a foreign detainee as to any other foreign national wishing to acquire Maldivian citizenship.

He said “we are still in the preliminary stages of negotiation between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the US Embassy and the governments,” and currently there is only “a basic text, a draft proposal” of the regulations and procedures for resettling Gitmo detainees in the country.

The AG’s office and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will then make comments on the draft. “Based on that,” Suood said, “the ministry will negotiate.”

One of the conditions proposed by the US states that the Maldivian government shall “conduct surveillance on the prisoners while they are in the country, including monitoring their phone calls, letters and other communications.”

Additionally, they must “prevent them from leaving the country.”

Suood said “that’s what we’re seeking to clarify, how we deal with [the former inmates]”, and added that their comments and concerns would all be sent to the US Embassy before the transfer was formally accepted.

“There is no concrete agreement between the two countries as of yet,” he noted.

Press Secretary for the President’s Office, Mohamed Zuhair, said “the government of Maldives supports President Obama’s plans to close Guantanamo,” adding that “a Palestinian gentleman is due to be transferred from Guantanamo to the Maldives.”

He said “the United States has cleared this Palestinian man of any association with terrorism or any violent activities,” and have also confirmed “he has no criminal charges pending against him.”

He noted the man could not return to the Middle East due to his association with Guantánamo, and it is feared his life will be in danger if he is sent back.

“We should support innocent Palestinians. As a people, they have suffered so much injustice,” Zuhair said. “I hope when he arrives in the Maldives, we will treat him as he should be treated: as a victim who has been jailed for many years even though he has committed no crime.”

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr Ahmed Shaheed, said the identity of the prisoner “has not been confirmed yet,” and added it will only be confirmed once the National Security Committee has concluded its meetings and have cleared the detainee of any charges.

He said “it will take some time” until the committee concludes its inquiries, as they have to “look at files and go through the process they require.” Dr Shaheed said after the legal framework is looked at, they can start assessing individual detainees.

Dr Shaheed did not attend a committee meeting held today.

He said although the Palestinian man Zuhair referred to was “one of the candidates” to be transferred to the Maldives, “it is not confirmed.”

Citizenship for detainees was not something the government was discussing yet, he said.

“I’m not saying we will do it or not,” he said, adding it would only be raised after the legalities of the transfer were cleared.

He added the transfer of detainees to the country was being looked at as “temporary,” like a “half-way stop” for the detainees, and not something permanent.

MPs meet US High Commissioner

A number of MPs met with the US High Commissioner today, said Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) MP Ahmed Nihan.

Besides Nihan, Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) MP Abdul Gafoor, Jumhoory Party MP Gasim ‘Buruma’ Ibrahim, DQP MP Riyaz Rasheed and Independent MP Mohamed Nasheed participated in the meeting.

Nihan said “very important doubts about the Gitmo issue were clarified by the American High Commissioner.”

“We exchanged information between the High Commissioner and MPs,” he said, noting “the High Commissioner gathered us to see our opinion on the issue.”

Nihan said in the meeting he highlighted how poor the communication is between people and the government, adding “the administrative decision was made inside the ‘smoking room’ of the president and not in the Cabinet.”

He said President Mohamed Nasheed never discussed the detainee issue with either Vice President Dr Mohamed Waheed or the Cabinet.

“He always presents decisions in the cabinet meetings,” Nihan said, “but he did not discuss it with anyone before deciding.”

National security committee meeting

Parliament’s National Security Committee held their first meeting on the resettlement of Guantánamo Bay prisoners in the Maldives on Sunday, after it was postponed last week by Speaker of Parliament, Abdulla Shahid.

There are still more meetings to be held on the issue, as they need to hear from more government officials and police.

AG Suood said he was meant to attend a meeting tomorrow, but it has now been cancelled. He said he was asking the Majlis to look at Article 5 of their rules of procedure, which says “any summons should be in writing and signed by the Speaker.”

The AG said he and the foreign minister received letters of summons from Parliament, but “they were signed by a legal council” and not the Speaker. “We are seeking clarification,” he said.

The US Embassy in Colombo said they could not confirm or deny whether DQP members met with the ambassador last week, and could not say whether they spoke about the transfer of detainees or the issue of citizenship.

Leader of the DQP, Hassan Saeed, did not respond to Minivan News at time of press.


40 thoughts on “Claims of citizenship for Guantánamo detainees are “total lies”, says Attorney General”

  1. the usual lies coming from Hassan Saeed. He is still bitter he lost the election

  2. Americans don't have High Commissioners, Nihan, they have Ambassadors. High Commissioners is a British Commonwealth thing. idiot

  3. It would be a grave violation if the GITMO detainee is brought to Raajje, and not even allowed to leave Raajje. And on top of that his every move will be under surveillance. An infringement into right to privacy and freedom of movement.

    IF the govt believes he is "innocent" and was detained illegally, why then are they entertaining the idea of this man/men being treated like a criminal...

    It is not humane to wipe out a person's life and identity like this. It wud not be wrong to say that most of the detainees in GITMO r innocent...but by now the torture and inhumanity that detainees wud have suffered there wud have broken even the strongest of them.

    These detainees need help, to deal with their trauma. And to calm the anger they must harbor regarding US and allies. IS the govt going to facilitate that? Do we even have the expertise and resources to provide that?

  4. who knows what sort of deals people came up with in the dark ages when gayoom was in power? how many issues that affect the public will have been decided in secrecy?

    for me, there are two over-riding facts here:
    1. the authorities appear to be very transparent on this matter, with the president first raising it during a radio address back in december
    2. we know from the accounts of many gitmo prisoners who have been released, that they were simply at the wrong place at the wrong time. we should do what we can to help fellow muslims trapped in a situation where they risk persecution if they are sent back to their home states.

  5. Reena - Interesting! I have not heard lies from Hassan Saeed. But for sure I do not trust a word that President Nasheed, Foreign Minister or Press Secretary Zuhair says.

  6. “We should support innocent Palestinians. As a people, they have suffered so much injustice,” Zuhair said
    then why he should not have the right as a free men? why he cannot travel, why he should be monitored? some people speak just crap. this is a jok

  7. How can he discuss with Vice President. Vice President is not VP of Maldives...He is the fifth VP of DRP.

  8. First denial and then admitted this is what we have been seen from the government. Politicians are the best lairs. Now we knew that current regime lied us, and apparently DQP too.

  9. Ok, even if citizen ship is a lie, something is going on. Maybe a citizen watch?

  10. Hon Nihan has been taped as saying that Dr. Waheed mentioned a "smoking room" to DRP leaders. This is a malevolent attack on his collegues, and he should be taken to task to explain all this. He would also hv to know that in politics, one attack begats another. Naaib Waheed must explain to the Maldivian public how Mr. Maumoon ruled Ma. Euraka as Handhuvaru Hassan Manik's property, while Mr. Hassan Manik was only a boader there, and the real owners including Ms. Muguri Waheeda are still alive and willing for open interviews. Way to go Nidhi Waheed!! My question is would the Maldivian public revile a so called smoker from the mysterious "smoking room" more than a brutal looter who would appropriate the home of a deserving citizen of Male', whose property he only got to occupy as a boarder, a number 2 position and as a temporary understudy to do the bidding of the rightful owner?????#@!!^&&%!!

  11. Zuhair is not capable to spin a story even, he denied at first, now trying to play simple politics to relate this to Palestine cause, as he know well Maldivians have sympathy in general for Palestine. But the bunch of lies he is telling every day, how can we believe anything these people say.

  12. Thinker says: Lying is a lifestyle for Addu people?

    Did you mean Hassan Saeed or Husnu al Sood? Or just Hassan Saeed?

  13. Nobdy believes Hassan Saeed any more. So you might as well not report what comes out of his mouth.

  14. I don't understand why the innocent palestinian has to be brought here by the US. Can he not have a better life style in US itself than in Maldives? Why can't US give him citizenwhip to pay back as the mess they have done with the innocent man. Why Maldives has to host him.And whta difference is between accepting him with all those US made rules of surveillance and keeping him in GITMO. Its same as treating him as a prisoner. This whole idea of accepting prisoners and bowing to US is a bad idea. I wonder what type of stupid decisions this Nasheed makes in his smoking and toilet rooms in his office!!!

  15. Thinker says: Lying is a lifestyle for Addu people?

    Thinker !you must be retarted to think of adduans like that !!!

    You must be so dump to think like that... Adduans have achieved educational economical advances ... they are recognised WORLD WIDE !!! so close your crappy mouth before you say anything !!!

  16. Why should be held in a country like the Maldives and not sent to their country?

    "He noted the man could not return to the Middle East due to his association with Guantánamo, and it is feared his life will be in danger if he is sent back."
    can the security forces in the Maldives give him protection? If so at what cost? As far as i believe, this is among the easiest countries in the world for terrorists to strike with the lenient immigration law and the fact that this man's whereabouts can never be kept a secret. (the islands are so small...)

    “We should support innocent Palestinians. As a people, they have suffered so much injustice,” - there are millions of refugees struggling in refugee camps in Gaza and Lebanon and elsewhere. Why not bring some of them and give 'em shelter and citizenship?

  17. "A total Lie", "a partial lie", "half-a-lie", "white lie", what does the AG think he is trying to prove to the Maldivian society at large. First we heard the President's "disclaimer-bluff-box" Mr. Choo-haa (The Press Sec) deny the whole "gitmo" issue. Then we heard the Foreign Minister "Dr. Too-big "Kuday" in a big-suit" claim that they were trying to get two 'Chinese detainees into Maldives, which later chnaged to Palestinians. Next we heard the "Small Doc" responding to attend Nat.Sec. Committee in Parliament. And at the final moment, refuse on legal grounds. Balls to all the crap the government is saying. Plain fact is that these "scum-bags" are getting fried in the pan. Now everyone involved is trying to save their "ar**". So the only way the government can deliver to the Americans is by bestowing on these unfortunate "gitmo" detainees something like "honorary citizenship" (if such a thing exists - don't worry if it doesn't, HEP the Megalomaniac Peeved would by decree get it done) and allow them free and justified (according to these "scumbags") passage and resettlemt in the Maldives. What can we do by commenting on an article that is posted on this site. We can only expel "gas" and just watch the show. Pathetic.......and we will remain to be just observors and passengers.......pathetic.......this is the "Maldivian way". No wonder why we remain so "backward" in this modern day. What's the difference we see in Maldives today........

  18. LoL, it appears our Govt is trying to handle a situation where they have no experienced at all. Worst while the matter is now at a stage where already PA (points of agreement)is done and yet have no idea what & how they are going to deal with. I ask the govt dont you think you already have a pile of domestics issues which you cant even handle yourself. Its better drop the whole thing. Never mind it might be little embarrasing but just say we quit Gitmo issue. There is still more opportunity for NOBLE PEACE PRIZE, I am sure Doc Shaheed can come out with his magic wand once again and let our HEP achive his one and only goal of his life.

  19. DQP has lot of doctors (including Dr. Ikleel) and DQP think that they know everything about anything. ha!

  20. This all sounds like a bloody joke for me. How many people in this world are suffering? How many Maldivians are suffering? Who's going to pay for these prisoners? Isn't there any other place in the world where they could be relocated to? Maybe a government could adopt them which has got more money than us? why doesn't Singapore take them? Why us? We are already OVERCROWDED, we've got 1% land area for 300.000 people! Where are they going to live? What is going on here???

  21. Why do we find so many Maldivians that can make a lot of sense on Minivan News or even on Haveeru for that matter?

    How come the government has so few sensible people?

  22. The "US High Commissioner" and the "American High Commissioner"?? The US has appointed a new 'High Commissioner' to talk to DRP on the Gitmo issue? What happened to the US Ambassador? LOL

  23. It requires a lot more than a great international impression to win the Nobel prize. Or even to be nominated for it.

    It looks like the president's desire to satisfy the international community is greater than his desire to make the lives of the local people better.

    The international community may or may not accept him as a nominee for a Nobel prize. But it is the local Maldivians that will give him any votes to be re-elected.

    I hope his international ambition will not cost him his presidency.

    To me it looks like the international community is making full advantage of a young and inexperienced president from a developing country.

  24. Palestinians will get harassed buy Israel if they go to west bank. we all know what israel will do to him.

  25. Hey..hey...Husnu Suood is from Male' he no longer belongs to Addu, he is registered at G kenereege. Only Hassan Saeed lies

  26. America created this huge flipping mess and now has no idea how to get out of it. To say that people who have been cleared as innocent should be put up under surveillance and scrutiny in a third country again defies belief. What America should be doing is giving them a formal apology and letting them settle in the US if they do not intent to relatriate the detainees back to their own countries.(if they want to).
    And some silly scum of a His Excellently the Peeved Megalomaniac with Attention-Deficit-Syndrome wanting international recognition and acceptance for his so-called-and-assumed role as a "World Saviour" plays into the hands of the and into the arms of.............America.

  27. @Marina
    Did you say "We are already OVERCROWDED, we’ve got 1% land area for 300.000 people! Where are they going to live? What is going on here???"
    Well, I have to admit. The first sensible thing I have heard from you for ages!

    I can only imagine the registry sheet for G.Kenereege. It might be running to several pages, NOW! LOL

  28. Ok, Hassan Saeed lies. Show me only one lie from him!

    One lie from ANNI? Simple; "I will say bye-bye to politics if Maumoon wins 4000 votes" etc,etc,etc.

    So when do we get to say bye-bye to you, ANNI?

  29. Quote from Washington Times dtd 25 May 2010
    The Maldives, once considered a liberal Islamic nation, has been increasingly adopting fundamentalist Muslim practices, hosting Taliban terrorists from Afghanistan and breeding a youth attracted to Islamic jihad. Many analysts report that Maldivian young people have been recruited by Pakistani terrorists.

    The Maldives already has accepted one detainee from Guantanamo Bay. Ibrahim Fauzee, a native Maldivian, was transferred there in 2005 after spending three years in U.S. detention, following his arrest in Pakistan for suspected al Qaeda connections.

    Read more

  30. President Nasheed wants always the media attention to him, specially the international media. Thats the only experience he has,he never did any responsible job, before came to power as a president. the only thing he did is make stories and propaganda to get attention of media.

    Today when he is in power he is dragging our small country to all major international conflicts. Today the articles are in Times and Washington post. Tomorrow it will be on CNN, thats what he want. He dont care about this small country's future.

  31. @Radhun.

    That article on Washington Times is no surprise. Most probably it might have been drafted by our ill scheming President’s Office.

    Even at that time when ANNI came to power by misleading the masses, we knew that their was NO LOVE LOST between ANNI and our nation.

    Our country’s name is deliberately tarnished in the international arena by MDP (Most Disgusting People) in the hope of capturing possible booty when Maldives goes up for SALE!

    I say our very own independence is at STAKE with MDP in control of the current administration. These MDPians have nasty liaisons with foregners who want to convert Maldives to something (I just don’t know what?!)God forbid!


  32. Lets not equate Hassan Saeed and his bitter ways and changing of colours every other second to respectable Adduans lifestyles.

    I am sure most Adduans would do a more sincere job than the one done by Hassan Saeed, advising the president via newspapers.

    We are talking about a Palestinian here, all our life since we were kids we have been hearing about their plight. We have learnt to hate Israeli's and Americans over their treatment of Palestinians.

    For once when we can actually do something about helping even one Palestinian, we are busy shouting its not our mess America should handle it.

    I say if we turn our backs on this man, we stop our empty words of support for Palestine and the words of hatred against Israel and America.

    And DRP and all the religious hypocrites who seems to wail at the mere mention of the word Palestine, should just shut up with the show sympathy.

    And its very obvious, this government is going to get something out of this. And America is going to pay for the detainees re-settlement expenses also.
    As long as its confirmed this guy has no links with any terrorist organization, i see no harm in having him settle here.

  33. @Nada

    Nada, sweetie, you said it "I see no harm in having him settle here"

    Then, are you ready to have him at your place?

    You need to be faaaar-sighted to see the harm, dear! Not when you open the front door to a lound bang and the next thing you see is Earth getting smaller and smaller!

  34. if are are accepting international rights, aids etc.. it comes with responsibilities.. i am sure these 2 human beings will not be able to screw us.
    they ve had their plight, Maldives could bring life to them, why can we give them a chance when we have the power to...

  35. @heck

    Sure, darling, and while at it, i can invite you round for a cuppa with him, how about that?

    Don't you think its high time, we walked the talk, instead of just bitching about each and everything.

    Travel around a bit, and you will see internationally our stock has risen. We are a country that is pro-active on climate change issues, and now even on this one.
    Last government all they did was bitch about how everything was others faults.

  36. @Hassan Hussain

    What grit are you talking? No one can blackmail us to accept any POWs or any one? We are an independent country. Not a proxy to some western government.

    Anni - you better explain if this all turns out to be true. We will not tolerate you playing fool with us just because you wanted another international award, my foot!

  37. Thinker: why do you have to voice your insecurities as racism? you are not much of a thinker. coward!


Comments are closed.