Defence Minister Nazim rejects allegations of police misconduct on Feb 8

Defence Minister Mohamed Nazim has rejected accusations that police officers committed criminal or “inhumane” acts against members of the public on February 8, 2012, instead blaming opposition party supporters for violence on the day.

Nazim was reported by newspaper Haveeru as claiming that police and military figures should not be held accountable for injuries sustained by members of the public during protests held over a three-day period between February 6 and February 8, 2012.

On February 7 last year, then President Mohamed Nasheed resigned from office. He subsequently alleged he had been forced to do so under “duress” on the back of a mutiny by sections of the police and military.

Speaking to private broadcaster DhiFM this week, Nazim rejected claims by the Police Integrity Commission (PIC) that some officers should be prosecuted for criminal behaviour due to how they dealt with protesters at the time the government changed.

Parliament’s Executive Oversight Committee (EOC) was told by the Police Integrity Commission (PIC) on Thursday that certain police officers should be prosecuted for alleged “unlawful actions” they committed in the build up to, and following, last year’s power transfer.

Parliament’s EOC is currently reviewing the report produced by the Commonwealth-backed Commission of National Inquiry (CNI), which looked into the events leading up to February 7, as well as its aftermath.

The CNI report, which was published in August last year, concluded there had been no coup, no duress and no mutiny during the controversial transfer of power that saw President Dr Mohamed Waheed Hassan Manik sworn into office.  The report did however call for investigations into “acts of police brutality”.

The CNI findings were also welcomed at the time by the US State Department and the United Nations, but have continued to be branded a “whitewash” by the opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP).

Opposition “offence”

Nazim told DhiFM broadcast that injuries received by members of the public during protests held on February 8, 2012, were a result of confrontations with police.

He maintained that the “truth” of the day, which he claimed had been wiped from public memory, was that supporters of the opposition MDP had carried out an “offence” by committing acts of violence that served to reverse national development by 20 years in certain cases.

Police stations and court houses in six southern atolls were torched during February 8 last year after police violently cracked down in the capital Male’ on a Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) march where thousands took to the streets in support of former President Nasheed.

In August last year, terrorism charges were pressed against over 40 people accused of setting the Seenu Gan police station on fire on February 8, including Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) MP Mohamed Rasheed and Addu City Councillor Ahmed Mirzadh.

According to local media, Nazim alleged this week that senior figures in the MDP had requested that the archives and history of islands across the country be set on fire along with courts houses and police stations.

While the defence minister added that police had taken part in unspecified, “unprecedented acts” during the transfer of power, he said that law enforcement and security officials were not at fault for violence during and after the transfer of power, and that former President Nasheed should take full responsibility.

Injuries sustained by members of the public between February 6 and February 8 last year were a result of confronting police officers, Nazim said, and had not been sustained “from being at home”. He maintained that a probe into the clashes was ongoing.

Defence Minister Nazim was not responding to calls from Minivan News at the time of press. Police Commissioner Abdulla Riyaz’s phone was also switched off.

Prosecution calls

PIC Vice President Haala Hameed said earlier this week that the actions of some police officers during the controversial transfer of power amounted to crimes and should be prosecuted by the PG.

She claimed that the PIC had identified 29 cases of police misconduct, out of which cases concerning six police officers had been sent to the PG for prosecution. Furthermore, the PIC revealed that it had urged Home Minister Dr Mohamed Jameel Ahmed to suspend the officers immediately.

Hameed said the commission had failed to identify the police officers in five of the remaining cases, while 11 other cases lacked supporting evidence. She also said the PIC was still investigating seven cases of police misconduct during the transfer of power.

“These are not disciplinary issues, but crimes. Aside from sending cases to the prosecutor general, we also recommended the Home Minister suspend these officers, because of the delays in prosecution. We believe these officers should not be serving in the police,” she said.

Prosecutor General Ahmed Muiz disputed Hameed’s claims at the time, suggesting that the actions of police officers did not amount to crimes but were “disciplinary issues”.

“I am not deterred or afraid of carrying out my duty. I am not influenced by anybody. By the will of God, I will continue to carry out my duty. I would have sent cases to court if there had been sufficient evidence needed for a successful prosecution,” Muiz said.

The PIC has said that it had investigated officers involved in alleged abuse as criminal cases rather than as disciplinary matters.

Home Minister Dr Mohamed Jameel Ahmed responded in local media at the time that cases involving police officers whom the had PIC recommended be dismissed had been sent to the police disciplinary board.

Jameel said the Police Act and the regulations made under the act were very clear as to how a police officer could be dismissed or disciplined. He claimed that he would uphold the law and would not violate the Police Act.

“The PIC is an institution formed under the Police Act. I can’t simply remove a police officer simply based on a recommendation by the commission. That is why I sent the cases to police disciplinary board as soon as I got the [PIC]’s letter,” he told Haveeru.

Jameel also said it would be an unfair dismissal if the court acquitted a police officer who had been dismissed prior a verdict being reached.

Dr Jameel was not responding to calls from Minivan News at time of press.

International pressure for a thorough investigation into allegations of police abuse has continued.

The UK government earlier this week called for the government and other parties to work towards institutional reform in areas such as the judiciary, as well as “to fully investigate all allegations of police brutality, as recommended in the CoNI report.”


15 thoughts on “Defence Minister Nazim rejects allegations of police misconduct on Feb 8”

  1. Don't listen to this evil toad-human hybrid.

    People torched those buildings only after the greatest crime took place which was your coup detat. Why are they picking and choosing to prosecute these people who wrecked a few vehicles and buldings, but not others who caused bodily harm to human beings? These baghees make me sick.

    Don't you traitors think Maldivian citizens are buying all your crap.

    We can see how many supporters you have from your rallies - maybe a few hundred if you're lucky and everybody knows half of them are bribed gangsters.

  2. I don't know if he's being misquoted and misinterpreted or not, but there is plenty of solid evidence of brutality perpetrated by police on mdp on video and eyewitness reports too. pic and coni both say so.the govt will have a hard time explaining this one.should have chosen your words more carefully minister..

  3. Nazim can say whatever he wants, but cannot hide the truth. The truth is in video and photographic evidence and there is ample evidence to prosecute both police and military personnel who beat up members of the public.

    Just take a look at the Haveeru compiled documentary at 38:44.

    Two people lying on a pavement were being mercilessly beaten by the police. If Nazim, says that Nasheed should be responsible for that, then I can only say that he's a man of no scruples, morale and devoid of any good traits necessary of a human.

    Clearly, Nazim is fearful of the truth coming out. If someone else is responsible for police officers beating up citizens, then it's either him or his accomplice, the present chief of police. On that same note, no one should be responsible for their actions! We can all blame someone else for our actions!

    Furthermore, the burning of police buildings in Addu and other places took place AFTER the police in Male beat up innocent people senseless for 24 hours. I'm sure the day will come, when Nazim and his compatriots will stand trial for their crimes.

  4. Just as Nazim says that the Police who terrorised and beat up citizens are innocent and their actions are simply due to the actions of the Nasheed government, we can apply the same argument to those who torched police buildings.

    Those who torched police and government buildings in Addu and elsewhere are innocent, since their actions are simply a result of the inhumane and barbaric brutality of the police in Male!

  5. There's an article on Haveeru about an old man who lost two fingers and was severely beaten by the police that day. Perhaps when Nazim takes a break from counting his coup money, he could read that article.

  6. However pious looking or pious smiling he is, Nazim cannot erase the fact that he is a wicked man to say that Police were not brutal on 6th, 7th and 8th of February 2012!

    DhiTV and VTV on these dates despite their biased adgenda, have been true to their trade either willfully or unknowingly!

    Truly Nazim is fearful of the investigation that the People's Majlis is carrying on with the CoNI Report!

  7. It is not because Nazim is unaware, like Maumoon when asked about the brutality of his regime, he is feigning ignorance and lying because telling the truth would imply that he is one of the people responsible for these atrocities.

  8. There is no controversial of change of power and Nasheed resign due to pressure from the opposition. Nasheed had to resign due to incapability and his arrogance and continuos breach of our constitution.

    Nasheed is a criminal and he has labeled Maldivian as tourists in the international media, he had link Maldives for some of the terrorist attacks in the world for which even most advance democratic country investigative bodies were not able to find any clue to link Maldivian.

    Nasheed is the man behind violence on 8th and he is the one who had lead his people to do that and he need to be punished.

    he is the man who is asking to boycott the tourism industry in Maldives. 80% of the total income is earned from tourism and 35% of Maldivian are employed in tourism sector, 70% of locally produced vegetables are absorbed by the tourism, 50% of the fishing industry fishes were bought by tourism sector but still this guy tries to kill the tourism industry for his personal gain.

  9. He was appointed Defense Minister on Feb8th, one of the first cabinet members in the current gov - before the Government had even acknowledged the brutal actions of police and the torching of state buildings on the same day. He was the retired Colonel who arrived at the Military HQ the previous day, right place right time, and gave an ultimatum to the President to resign.
    How shocking is it that he isn't willing to let all the hard work go and possibly be criminally charged if justice is served?
    Facts aside, my opinion is that he is probably a sociopath. Like most politicians.

  10. If the change of power @Kuribee on Sun, 10th Feb 2013 10:38 AM refers to were that of 7th February, 2012). I see concrete evidence to prove that President Nasheed was forced to resign!

    If he was to be unseated from Presidency due to whatsoever reason; there were the People's Majlis and the courts to do it legally! There was no need to do what some people did on 7th February, 2012!

    If President Nasheed were guilty and found to be the devil, the people who planned and worked to do what was done on 7th February, 2012 are much worst than President Nasheed!

    @Kuribee! Think before you write! Howsoever I see you as part and parcel that took place on 6th, 7th and 8th of February 2012! So nothing more need to be said!

  11. Aussie,

    You have not proved anything and there is hard evidence to prove that Nasheed tried to declare the state of emergency in the country on 6th.

    Nasheed did order the defense force to artificial beach and remove the police from the site and then defense force to vacate ? why did he ordered or gave this instruction?

    But we were lucky that Nasheed planned collapse and fall onto his and he did know how to control the situation and the lead to resign.

    he resign himself knowing that he did not have the capacity to control the situation and do not expect an activists to manage a situation like that.

    Nasheed resigned for may reasons. one is as mention above . Second is that he knew that country is in big shit with financially and he did not know how to mange it and then this was an easy way out and then blame someone else for the mess.

    gnashed knew that he has no chance to win the election in 2013 , if he hold the post and people were fed up with the guy and his performances.

    He knew if he resigned , he can twist the story and make people believe a different than what actually had happened and people will start questioning about his resignation.

    Nasheed resign because he could not abolish the judiciary system as he planned .

    Nasheed resigned because he could get the clear majority in the parliament to change the constitution to go back to old constitution .

  12. @Aussie on Sun, 10th Feb 2013 12:47 PM

    A word of advice to you mate. Don't engage with the character nicknamed "Kuribee". That's his latest alias. He's appeared here before as "mode", "mody", "uk tourist" and many others. He twists the same old broken record over and over again like a zombie. Just ignore him.


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