The Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) have condemned death threats received by six MDP MPs last night (August 2), and called on the Progressive Party of the Maldives (PPM) to desist in sheltering radical suspects.
“[T]he PPM government continues to shelter radical suspects and is yet to name or arrest a single suspect accused of having issued such threats in previous cases lodged by the MDP,” read an MDP statement.
The MDP confirmed that MPs Mariya Didi, Rozaina Adam, Eva Abdulla, Ali Azim, Parliamentary Group Leader Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and former Speaker Abdulla Shahid all received death threats.
Two threats were sent to each MP via text message. The first message read, “[We] will kill you if you behave inappropriately.” The party suggested that the police had the technical capability to identify unlisted numbers.
The second read, “It is not a sin to kill those who challenge Allah’s words and call for freedom of religion. Afrasheem Ali was an example.”
In June the party requested that police investigate a series of threats made via Twitter against its members, including former President Mohamed Nasheed.
The MDP statement went on to note the recent spate of murders taking place around the capital, as the number of violent attacks reported rises to nine.
“The Maldivian Democratic Party notes with concern that the present climate of fear in Male’ and several islands began to escalate following Home Minister Umar Naseer’s constitutional powers as the Minister in charge of Police being reduced on 24 July 2014 by his former political rival President Yaameen Abdul Gayoom.”
Writing on her Twitter account, Eva Abdulla challenged the Maldives Police Service to investigate the matter. “You have the means to investigate, if you have the will,” Eva stated.
“[The] police have the means to look this up, if they have the will to do so. If they do not (as they did not with any of the complaints I lodged past two years) well at least I will know this is govt-approved. [sic]” Eva added on social media.
Police have confirmed with Minivan News that they are investigating the matter, but declined to give any more information on the details of the case.
Dr Afrasheem Ali’s murder in October 2012 was the most high profile attack on a member of parliament in the country’s history.
In the second death threat sent to MPs yesterday, the perpetrators referred to the attack on the former Ungoofaaru constituency MP and Islamic scholar.
The ensuing investigation found the crime to have been premeditated and politically motivated. On January 16 2014, the Criminal Court sentenced the prime suspect in the murder, Hussain Humam, to death.
Meanwhile, former MDP MP Alhan Fahmy was unable to walk for months after he was stabbed in the back in February.
The safety and rights of MPs have previously been a concern of organisations such as the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), who in November 2013 called for an emergency visit to the Maldives.
The organisation’s request for an urgent visit was prompted by the growing list of cases – 24 in total – involving Maldivian MPs filed with the IPU’s Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians.