The opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) filed a motion Wednesday (December 12) asking parliament to look into the death of Abdulla Gasim Ibrahim, accusing the Maldives Police Service of a cover-up.
Leaked CCTV footage released in early December threw into dispute the official police account of 43-year-old Gasim’s death. Police had initially stated that he had died due to injuries caused in a motorcycle accident, while the footage appears to reveal that a police officer had some involvement in the incident.
In the footage, a police officer is seen attempting to stop a speeding motorcycle suspected of being used by thieves to flee a crime scene. Using his baton, the officer in the footage appears to hit out at the vehicle’s driver, causing him to lose control of the bike that then collides with Gasim’s motorcycle.
The MDP has submitted a motion to the parliament asking the Committee on Oversight of the Executive to look into the matter, and hold those responsible accountable.
“The police have not shared details of the actual events with either the family or the public. The video footage that was leaked shows that things happened in a way absolutely contrary to the initial reports. That is why we have submitted the motion and asked the parliament to look into this and make the authorities answerable to this,” MDP MP Mohamed Aslam said.
The motion was submitted by Mohamed Aslam and supported by MPs Ilyas Labeeb and Mohamed Rasheed – all from the same party.
Police Integrity Commission (PIC) President Abdulla Waheed stated today that he was out of Male’ on an official trip and was unaware of case proceedings at the moment.
Meanwhile PIC Director General Fathimath Sarira, speaking to Minivan News on December 3, has stated that the commission had previously received the footage and an investigation was nearing the point of conclusion.
Gasim’s family has said they have received no updates to date on how the case was proceeding either from the PIC or the police.
“I don’t know what else we can do. [police] are elusive and very slow, which is why we keep calling back. All I want is justice,” Naseema Khaleel, Gasim’s wife previously stated.
Human Rights Commission of the Maldives (HRCM) Vice President Ahmed Tholal was not responding to calls at the time of press.
The MDP and former President Mohamed Nasheed had previously also released statements condemning the alleged cover-up of the incident, calling on Police Commissioner Abdulla Riyaz to take responsibility for the matter.
“I am shocked and appalled by the leaked video, which appears to show a policeman hitting a motorcyclist in the head with a baton, which led to the death of an innocent bystander,” Nasheed stated at the time.
“Under [President Mohamed] Waheed’s administration, we are seeing a return to the thuggish brutality of Maldives’ authoritarian past. I implore the international community to pressure the Waheed government to immediately and impartially investigate this case, to bring human rights abusers in the security forces to book, to cease its harassment of opposition members, and hold early elections so democracy can be restored.”