High Court ruling on Usfasgandu ruling not “setback” for government: Home Minister

Home Minister Dr Mohamed Jameel Ahmed has said that a High Court ruling to uphold a Civil Court order preventing the dismantling of a Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) protest camp at Male’s Usfasgandu area is not a “setback” to efforts to reclaim the land.

The camp was raided last Tuesday (May 29) by police after they obtained a Criminal Court search warrant to search the area under suspicion that criminal practices were performed on the site, including the practice of “black magic”. Under evidence, the warrant alleged that people in the Usfasgandu area had on May 25 thrown a “cursed rooster” at MNDF officers.

Shortly after the raid, the Civil Court ordered a halt to the ongoing removal of the camp with a temporary court injunction, after the MDP challenged the legality of the operation.  The Civil Court decision was later appealed by the state.

The temporary injunction was upheld today though by the High Court, which said there had been no grounds to amend the Civil Court’s order, according to local media.

However, Dr Jameel maintained that the Usfasgandu site, which was leased to the MDP by Male’ City Council (MCC), was in fact the property of the government, a position he claimed would ultimately be supported by the law.

“I am confident that a claim to [Usfasgandu’s] vacant possession will be granted by the courts as it has a clear position in law,” he told Minivan News.

Jameel added that it would not be his responsibility or decision to appeal against the High Court verdict.

“The decision to appeal is a matter for the attorney general to make,” he added.

Black magic

During the police raid of Usfasgandu last week, police collected evidence reported to include pieces of paper with Arabic inscriptions,  incense, a box of unused condoms, a discarded ‘Tiger’ beer can, and a laminated sheet containing photos of police officers marked with ‘ticks’ and ‘crosses’.

Questioned on whether the evidence gathered by police from Usfasgandu – including the alleged black magic paraphernalia – was sufficient to support the legal case to ultimately dismantle the camp in its entirety, Dr Jameel said it was a matter for the police to decide.

“We will have to wait and see for their conclusion on the matter,” he said, also addressing the concern of authorities about black magic being practiced by anti-government protesters: “I do not know whether anybody is more concerned about black magic than those who indulge in such outdated activities.”

MDP spokesperson Hamid Abdul Ghafoor and MP Imthiyaz Fahmy were not responding to calls from Minivan News at time of press.


The fate of Usfasgandu represents an ongoing stalemate between the Home Ministry and Male’ City Council.

The Housing Ministry initially sought to repossess the area from the Council, which refused to cooperate. The Home Ministry then instructed police to retake the area, who approached the Criminal Court for a warrant. The court initially denied this warrant, stating that the repossession was a civil matter and not within its jurisdiction.

The Home Ministry has argued that leasing the area to a group for political purposes contravenes the deregulation act under which the land was granted to the MCC.

In a precursor to this issue, the previous area at Lonuziyaaraiy Kolhu used for the staging of the MDP’s operations, dubbed ‘Justice Square’, was dismantled by police and the MNDF on March 19. The subsequent court case was dismissed on a technicality and, after being re-submitted, has recently been delayed once again following for a similar reason.

The MCC has remained defiant, last month writing to the Police, the Maldives National Defense Force (MNDF) and the Housing Ministry, arguing that the area was fulfilling a pressing need for large numbers of people to conduct political activities without inconveniencing residents of Male’ City. It also dismissed the legal right of the government to claim the area.

The Housing Ministry has recently removed Sultan Park and the artificial beach area from the municipal council’s jurisdiction.


8 thoughts on “High Court ruling on Usfasgandu ruling not “setback” for government: Home Minister”

  1. The government should take back all the powers of the Municipal council. Maldives has to go back to the Autocracy of Gayoom. Jameel and Hassan Saeed are phd holders on non negotiation and dictatorial governance. "I" still do not know the meaning of freedom so I would rather live in an autocratic system.

  2. The Manifesto of the MDP is a strange document for a group of people who really can't be bothered whether our people eat three meals a day, have basic medical assistance and support when we are ill, have a roof over our heads, whether our children are dead or not from drugs, whether we have affordable transport or not, or whether our children have an education or not.

    The MDP stand for freedom of expression and human rights is a strange concept for a group of people

    1. who think nothing of paying gangsters to finish off people they consider a headache to their well set up life styles of exploitation of the people,

    2. whose jails were full of political prisoners when they were in power,

    3. Who considered the separation of powers, the Executive, legislation and Judiciary such a travesty that for 30 years they tortured, and persecuted those who stood for that?

    4. Who collected sophisticated cars, motor cycles, yachts, speed boats, seaplanes and yet could not set up a transport system for affordable travel for us
    5. Who bought mansions overseas, and real estate all over the world but could not provide affordable housing for our people
    6. who sent their children to elite schools abroad and universities for their education but could not be bothered to ensure a decent education that had our children pass their GCO levels with the minimum passes required for higher education and training
    7. who sent their children abroad for higher education but closed their eyes on the thousand and more children leaving school every year with just a few hundred places available in the country for further education and training, and then went around talking about how useless our new generation of youth were
    8. who had us begging for medical care
    9. who looked the other way while their friends laid the drug piplelines in our country to kill off our youth, and helped them go free in their courts when they got caught
    10. who buy the votes of the people they impoverished and who in their poverty would take the bribes for that boat, that house they could not build, that child they couldn’t send overseas or to Male’ for higher education, that harbour they desperately needed, that trip desperately needed for medical treatment. ...
    And more.
    The conflict in our nation is not about the MDP, its about what MDP stands for. Freedom of expression, , affordable living, an education that empowers and develops an enquiring mind, justice in our courts, a thriving civic society, free medical care, subsidies for the vulnerable, decent housing and power to the people, skilled and educated human capital development.
    Until those who have closed their eyes and ears to the revolution sweeping our nation choose to open their minds, eyes, ears and hearts to those of us who want just a better life for ourselves and our children we will continue to have rulers who will continue with all that I said above.
    Is that what you want?
    Wake up guys.

  3. Jameel is a nobody; an irrelevance. Him and his mate Saeed are among the most hated individuals in this country. I'm convinced they are from the extended family of Satan himself.

    Black Magic is onto Jameel. We will get him.

  4. Nasheed and his associates are one of the most corrupt politicians we have seen in our history. He will go down in history as a brutal dictator like Gayoom. We deserve better politicians!

  5. Idealists like you Fathun will fall hook, line and sinker for any old piece of paper.

    You have made quite a hefty list of insinuations there. But please consider this;

    1. You base all your accusations on one main premise. That personalities and individuals are to blame for our shortcomings. Then consider this. The MDP was headed for a long time by an Acting President by the name of Ibrahim Hussein Zaki who is one of the longest-serving Cabinet Ministers in the Qayyoom regime who is rumored to have benefited greatly from the government during his tenure. This is of course speculation and unlike you I would not harbor any personal hatred against Zaki or blame him for my personal failures unless a connection is established by a court of law. Also please note that the Maizandhoshugey Clan, Sato and his ex-wife, ND Azee and other Qayyoom-regime elitists fund and operate the MDP.

    2. The MDP manifesto proposed several grand schemes which, anyone with half a year's worth of administrative experience would tell you, is impossible to achieve within 5 years.

    3. The list of what the MDP stands for is what any political party would say they stand for.

    4. None of the systemic issues that plagued the government including and not limited to, inefficiency, corruption, nepotism, cronyism, arbitrariness, lack of transparency saw any progress during the MDP's time in power. Also the MDP made no effort whatsoever to take the government in the right direction.

    You can live on planet Deludo all you want. But the truth is a large number of the Maldivian people lost faith in the Nasheed regime because it displayed itself for what it was. A regime-change and not a reformist movement.

  6. Dont worry, the corrupt AG will reverse this!!

  7. ye be noble

    "This is of course speculation and unlike you I would not harbor any personal hatred against Zaki or blame him for my personal failures unless a connection is established by a court of law."

    kaa kaa


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