The circumstances behind the arrests of Jumhoree Party (JP) MP Abdulla Jabir and Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) MP Hamid Abdul Ghafoor for their alleged possession of alcohol have been labelled “very worrying” by delegates from the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU).
Findings compiled by the three-person delegation raised further concerns over the failure to punish police officers who used excessive force on MPs earlier in the year.
At a press conference held today (November 22), the delegation revealed their findings following a three-day mission to the Maldives over alleged human rights abuses of MPs.
The delegation consisted of Philippine Senator Francis Pangilinan from IPU’s Committee on Human Rights of Parliamentarians, South African Parliamentary expert Peter Lilienfeld and Head of the Human Rights programme, Rogier Huizenga.
Pangilinan said that the circumstances surrounding the arrests of Jabir and Ghafoor earlier this month were “very worrying” and that the delegation found it “difficult” to believe it was not politically-motivated.
Both Jabir and Ghafoor – along with eight others – were arrested on the island of Hodaidhoo in Haa Dhaal Atoll for the alleged possession of alcohol and drugs.
The arrests were made days prior to a vote on whether or not a no confidence motion against President Mohamed Waheed could be voted with a secret ballot.
Following Jabir’s subsequent release by the Kulhudhuffushi Magistrate Court, the State has asked the High Court for an order to re-arrest Jabir.
State Prosecutor Hana Waheed requested High Court cancel the Kulhudhuffushi Court ruling, which stated that that there were no grounds to arrest Jabir.
Section 202.D of Parliament’s rules of procedure states that MPs cannot be arrested while there is a no-confidence motion before parliament to impeach the president or remove a cabinet minister, judge or member of an independent commission from his or her post.
However according to Hana, Article 202 of Parliament Standing Orders is against the constitution, and she requested the court to cancel the article and issue an order to arrest Jabir.
At a press conference this morning, Pangilinan from the IPU delegation said: “The circumstances of the arrest are very worrying. An impressive team of unidentified police and an army of officers allegedly carried out the arrests, reportedly without a warrant and ill-treated the MPs.
“We are well aware that the consumption of alcohol and drugs is forbidden in the Maldives, but we find it difficult to believe in light of the circumstances and timing of the arrests that the parliamentarians were not targeted for political reasons.”
The delegation further expressed their concern over the failure to punish the police officers who used “excessive force” against MPs earlier this year.
In March, the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) parliamentary group submitted cases alleging police brutality against the former ruling party’s MPs to the IPU’s human rights committee at the 126th Assembly held at Kampala, Uganda.
The cases targeted police brutality against MDP MPs on February 7 and 8, in particular on the latter date during a heavy-handed police crackdown on an MDP protest march that left scores injured and hospitalised, including former MDP parliamentary group leader and Hulhu-Henveiru MP ‘Reeko’ Moosa Manik and Maafanu South MP Ibrahim Rasheed ‘Bonda’.
“The delegation is deeply concerned that the police officers who used excessive force against the members of parliament earlier this year have not yet been punished, and that Members of Parliament appear to remain subject to intimidation.
“The delegation points out that in several of the cases in the use of excessive police force, there is clear video evidence available which should have enabled the authorities to take effective and swift action. The delegation therefore calls on authorities to do everything possible to expedite their efforts to a successful conclusion,” Pangilinan said.
Findings from the mission also revealed a lack of trust in the government from the general public and called for parliament to rectify this perception.
“The parliament does not help itself when it is perceived by the public as largely helping itself rather than the ordinary citizens,” Pangilinan added.
The delegation stressed that the issues raised were an internal matter, and that the IPU could only monitor and communicate with the necessary authorities in the hope that a resolution will come “sooner or later”.
“The outside world is not going to resolve these issues. Instead Maldivians sitting down, ultimately talking to each other to solve the issues of controversy is the only way,” said Peter Lilienfeld.
The murder of Progressive Party of the Maldives (PPM) MP Dr Afrasheem was also mentioned, noting that the delegates were happy to hear the authorities are close to completing the investigation, and that justice can “soon be recognised”.
The three-day mission saw the delegates meet with all relevant judicial executive and parliamentary authorities including the Police Commission, the Minister of Home Affairs and the President.
According to Pangilinan, the findings from the mission will be compiled into a report within one month, before being submitted to the IPU committee where it will be reviewed in January.
“We have informed the offices concerned with our findings that should there be any developments between now and January, that we would welcome any information on such developments so we can incorporate it when we meet in January and tackle the Maldives case,” Pangilinan added.
17 thoughts on ““Difficult” to believe arrests of MPs “not politically motivated”: IPU”
These two people were arrested whilst they were intoxicated. Drinking alcohol and smoking narcotics are illegal in Maldives.
They were not arrested just because they were doing a public service and they were arrested just like any other Maldivian.
These people should not be given the liberty to do what ever they want and they should also follow and respect out constitution.
@mody on Thu, 22nd Nov 2012 7:38 PM
Holy cow, Mody. Which century are you living on?
These 'Izaaiytheri members' are the guys who rant their heads off about religion in Maldives, when they feel it is the best for the situation. They also would not care shit about the constitution, when it comes to them. As far as they are concerned, when they overlook Constitution, and do whatever they want, it portrays their manliness and separates them from mere stupid idiots like you. Dont you get it?
How dumb can you be???
IPU is a puppet of Shahid and here his excellency is trying to help is another buddy excellency Zaki.
Cheers and bottoms up for both.
by the way Heineken , Fosters beer could find Maldives Majlis as an advertising theme... Some excellencies even could be sponsored.
They do not know about Jabir, but we know. He is perhaps the most crooked of them all.
we know really what is going on here and who is who the real problem here is the coup leaders are behind the MPS and they are gone made and trying everything to secure their power to run the country for another 30 years yes we know Jabir ,Hamid,Shiyaam and we also know the environminister Shakeelas Husband, the Wise President Deen but they have nothing to do with us they don't want kill us
Police brutality and unlawful arrests are now common here wide spread corruption from President Ministers to civil servants
where is the like button, lol.
Let's not make this about the character of a certain person or whether some MP's consume alcohol.
The question is the timing and manner of the arrests.Did the police have a warrant?
It's a well known secret amongst us of who enjoys a drinks once in a while.
The point is, If this was about alcohol consumption, then the Police could have arrested them long time ago.
The whole bunch who are with gayoom and Nasheed(Anni) are alcohol drinkers!!! Its a fact!
Police does not need a warrant to arrest in a situation like this and Police is required to get the necessary authorization from the concerned authorities within 24 hrs from the arrest.
No one is above the law , including president. Everyone are equal . If these arrest coincide with the vote, then this must be orchestrated by the people the same people who were arrested .
I do not think that Government would have been able to force these guys to of Hodaadhoo and do what they have done and then send police to arrest them ?
What a joke is this Mr. Nazim? People like you who are so narrow minded and who might have been financing through Anni and his associates will not be able to digest anything which goes against them'
A few months back, in heroic defence of Maldivian National Sovereignty, Jabir drew the mighty sword of the Islamic Faith in his desparate battle against the evil forces of the Kafirun UN and their anti-Islamic influences. Your great Defender lifted the very same sword of Faith designed to eradicate poisons such as 'alcohol' from the Sacred Islamic soil of the Maldives.
He aimed that sword at the liberal heart of the Wicked West and their corrupting ideal of Freedom from Fear from Religious Persecution. But now, however, he has fallen upon his very own sword.
Most of us will end up being slain by the very same sword we live by.
Now, those very same evil Kafirun western human rights advocates he sought to destroy, are leaping to his defence. Meanwhile, his fellow Muslim Mujahidun, those very same whose liberty he fought to defend, are kicking him whilst he is down because of his evident hypocrisy.
Who needs enemies when your Brethren are as Graceless as that?
About the UN ideology being evil, I was being sarcastic...
@mody on Sat, 24th Nov 2012 8:37 AM
Lets see whether they get what they deserve? Jaabir and the co, will get away scott-free!
In your dreams!!!!
Later, when you have grown up and realize the games played by these big boys, aka crooked izzaitheri parliamentarians, you would no doubt understand that its all about money and power.
All depends on
Who you bribe, and when.
Who your friends are.
Who you can influence.
is all that matters.
And by the way, mody, just so you know...
I voted for Anni, but would not any more. The reason I voted him was in the hopes that Anni will stifle Sheikh Imran and co. You I dont mind he whipping his family in to submission. But now Imran, has gotten worse and he thinks he knows how every Maldivian must live.
Anni could not achieve that. So no more.
politically motivated!!! so what!!! were they reading Quran on the beach when they were arrested!!!!! change the islamic law of maldivian constitution and then try these headlines on. each and every maldivian will support your headlines and stories.
@Ben Plew -Right
loved your post - made my day.
I wish Maldives has second political parody show, apart from Majlis.
"These two people were arrested whilst they were intoxicated."
The police disagree with you. What will you do now?
Comments are closed.