The Human Rights Commission of the Maldives (HRCM) will release its report on rights abuses leading up to February’s controversial transfer of power as soon as possible after parts of its findings were allegedly leaked by the Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM).
The HRCM claims that the report has not been shared with any political party as of yet, while raising fears sections of it may already have been used as a “political tool” after being disclosed to the media.
Speaking to Minivan News today, HRCM Vice President Ahmed Tholal said that the commission had only shared the report with stakeholders to whom its recommendations were relevant. According to Tholal, these stakeholders include the Maldives Police Service and other selected state institutions.
According to details of the report leaked by PPM Interim Deputy Leader Umar Naseer on Saturday (August 18), the HRCM concluded that former President Mohamed Nasheed gave “unlawful orders” to the Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) and police officers at the Artificial Beach area on the evening of February 6.
According to Naseer, the HRCM report stated that the MNDF and police officers at the Artificial Beach area were “unlawfully” ordered to leave the area, which led to a breakdown in command and control of the security forces. Consequently, citizens were injured and huge damage was caused to the state, Naseer stated, citing the report.
While local media has reported that the document shared by PPM was the HRCM report with sections removed, Tholal confirmed that the full report had been sent to stakeholders.
Tholal said that in light of the reported leak, the HRCM now intended to share its published findings with the public at the earliest possible date. He was unable to provide a specific date, but said the decision had to be made in a commission members’ meeting as required in their regulations.
Meanwhile, HRCM Commission Member Ahmed Abdul Kareem, speaking during a press conference on July 18, stated that the commission would not be looking into the events surrounding the transfer of power on February 7 as it did not fall within the body’s mandate.
When asked about the contradictions between this statement and the accounts given by Umar Naseer that were said to be have taken from the report, Tholal responded today by saying that he had not seen what details the PPM Deputy Leader had shared. He claimed that the HRCM had not conducted any investigation into the controversial transfer of power.
Tholal also expressed concern that the report was currently being used by some entities as a political tool ,“The reason why we haven’t put in a confidentiality clause is that our intention is to release it to the public when the time comes. It is not a confidential document as such. But the point is, when it is shared, we expect it to be used for the intended purposes and not as a political tool”.
In addition to the PPM, its coalition government partner the Jumhooree Party (JP) also held a press conference about the report this week.
Local newspaper Haveeru reported that Jumhooree Party (JP) Deputy President Ameen Ibrahim stated the leaked report would put an end to questions about the transfer of power in February. According to Ameen, the two main questions around the events on February 7 had been answered through the report; firstly whether there was a coup, followed by whether or not President Waheed assumed his presidency through legal means.
While HRCM claims that they had not investigated the transfer of power through their report, JP Spokesperson Moosa Rameez contended the findings provided conclusive details on the event.
The JP representatives also stated they were very confident the upcoming Commission of National Inquiry (CNI) report would conclude the transfer of power had not been a “coup d’etat” as alleged by the now opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP).
Neither the PPM’s Umar Naseer or JP spokesperson Abbas Adil Riza were responding to calls at the time of press.