MDP MP Ibrahim Rasheed charged with assaulting police officer

The trial of Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) MP Ibrahim Rasheed ‘Bonda’, charged with assaulting a police officer, commenced at the Criminal Court on Wednesday.

According to local media reports, the prosecution claimed that MP Rasheed obstructed police duty during an MDP protest on July 30, 2012 when police officers stopped a group of activists on motorbikes.

The MP for Maafanu South allegedly attempted to push the police back and struck an officer on the chest.

Three police officers at the scene witnessed the assault, the prosecuting attorney said.

At yesterday’s hearing, MP Rasheed pleaded not guilty and contended that the charge was politically motivated.

The MP also criticised the criminal justice system as flawed and requested permission to hire a foreign lawyer.

The judge reportedly assented and informed Rasheed to be present at the next trial date in three days with his lawyer.

Once bitten

Following the incident on July 30, MP Rasheed was arrested and placed under house arrest for five days in early August.

According to a statement by the MDP at the time, MP Rasheed was taken into custody at 12.30am from a popular cafe in the capital Male’ by “20 militarised police.”

“MP Ibrahim Rasheed was arrested under a warrant obtained by the police relating to an incident two days back on 30 July when it was reported that the MP was ‘bitten’ on his back by a policeman in the process of being arrested while participating in a protest rally,” the statement explained.

“The MP was released within a few hours on that day with two other MPs who were also ‘picked up’ with Hon Rasheed.”

Video footage meanwhile emerged on social media showing MP Rasheed’s arrest. A riot police officer appears to bite the MP behind his shoulders during the arrest.

Police however released a statement on July 31 denying that any injuries were caused during the arrest of the three MPs.

The police statement insisted that MP Rasheed’s claim to MDP-aligned private broadcaster Raajje TV that he was bitten by a police officer was “a false allegation.”

Police further claimed that the three MDP MPs resisted arrest, used obscene language and caused varying degrees of injury to police officers. Aside from MP Rasheed, MDP MPs Ahmed Easa and Mohamed Gasam were also taken into custody on July 30.

The statement also accused MP Rasheed of attempting to mislead the public regarding his arrest to bring the Maldives Police Service into disrepute, condemning the MDP MP’s remarks to the media.

The MDP statement meanwhile noted that MP Rasheed was severely beaten by riot police officers on February 8 during a violent crackdown on an MDP march across Male’.

“Hon Rasheed is among 10 MPs who have been the subject of police brutality that have gone unaddressed for the last six months in spite of repeated appeals by the Inter Parliamentary Union to investigate the matter,” the MDP statement added.

While no charges have been brought against the Special Operations (SO) officers caught on camera beating MP Rasheed on February 8, the People’s Majlis secretariat sent a letter to the Police Integrity Commission (PIC) requesting the police watchdog body to “speed up its investigation into the cases of violence against MPs on 8 February 2012.”

Last week, former chair of the PIC, Shahinda Ismail, resigned from the commission citing failure to hold the police accountable for acts of brutality.

Shahindha’s resignation followed the release of the second of three reports looking into incidents of police misconduct that surrounded February’s transfer of presidential power.


8 thoughts on “MDP MP Ibrahim Rasheed charged with assaulting police officer”

  1. PG Muiz should be ashamed of himself, but then he is among them with the intention of removing all MDP MP's. Did he not know of all that was done to Bonda.

    Actions like these are only confirming what is being said about the Judiciary and the Justice System of the Maldives.

  2. OH My God! Oh Allah! They are now charging even MDP MPs. My fellow MDPians. Lets not stay calm when they are charging our beloved MPs. Lets go out for all out war on the streets to protect our honourable MPs.

  3. PG Muizz is on strings, dear readers!
    Gayyoom will never leave an atom of meat remain on what ever fish he eats!
    He will lick it clean!
    PG Muizz can be his what ever! Let it wait!
    GET MDP OUT! That is the motto!
    This is the rule of law the "Golha" and the "Crow" will understand!

  4. Who said we have a police service in Maldives? We have bandits and mercenaries in police uniforms claiming they "protect and serve". tee hee

  5. I recommend MP Ibrahim Rasheed to carry a canister of nerve poison in case another policeman bites him.

    ... what, it isn't illegal to use nerve poison on bloodsucking pests. Even MNDF uses poison gas against mosquitoes in the rainy season.

  6. What is this? The MDP party website?

    You people should seriously get a life. MP or no MP we all know Bonda is a common criminal who was only provided a seat in Parliament because he wouldn't know how to vote unless Nasheed told him green is good and red is bad.

  7. Police did act violently on February 8th
    but this video where a policeman is biting bonde is very unconvincing.
    see, Bonde does not even winch and the photo of the bite mark came after sometime.It does not even resemble a bite mark, thought bite marks had teeth infused to the flesh and bonde being a fat person it would be difficult to bite him at that situation.
    but anyways, minivan if you could have brought the pictures of bonde on 6th feb, then might consider this unbiased!!!

  8. MP. Rasheed wearing his camouflage blue uniform was kicking several policemen lying on the pavement, and now is charged for his cruel actions. And now MP Rasheed is very scared of Mr. Riyaz. I hope Bonda is able to identify at least one of the guys lying on the pavement as it may come handy in the future of Maldives .....


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