The Maldives National Defence Force has said it will provide security for MP Abdulla Riyaz after the former police commissioner requested protection last week.
“People are following me everywhere I go. I feel somewhat threatened. I have requested for security but MNDF are yet to grant me security,” Riyaz told Minivan News.
MNDF Spokesman Major Adnan Mohamed said only that a request from Riyaz had been received and that the process of arranging the protection was ongoing.
The spokesman has also been quoted as saying that limited resources could delay provision of security to the Kinbidhoo constituency MP.
After serving as police commissioner between 2012 and 2013, Riyaz moved into politics, joining the then-government aligned Jumhooree Party (JP’s) before winning a seat in the Majlis last year.
Since the JP’s split from the government, and the arrest of former defence minister Mohamed Nazim, Riyaz has suggested the police are now being used to further political agendas – claims rejected by police as attempts to “deceive the public”.
His comments came after Nazim’s legal team suggested that dangerous weapons found in his home were planted by the police, who have since stated that the former minister had been plotting to overthrow the government.
Riyaz has also suggested that police are attempting to plant narcotics in his office, his home, or his car. He told Minivan News today that he had sent pictures of those following him to police.
Writing to the newly appointed Minister of Defence and National Security – Nazim’s replacement – Major General (retired) Moosa Ali Jaleel last week, Riyaz said he feared his life was in danger.
“I need security as I fear there might be an attempt on my life based on the political atmosphere set now,” he wrote.
Article 105 (b) of the Constitution requires the state security services to provide “protection and safety” to all members of the People’s Majlis.
Riyaz also sent a similar letter to Minister of Home Affairs Umar Naseer, asking if any person has been charged in the case of an MP’s motorcycle being set on fire, as well as an incident in which oil was thrown at him last December.
Security concerns in the country also caused the current Police Commissioner Hussein Waheed to take on additional personal security late last month.
Concerns for the security of MPs in October prompted the MNDF to warn Majlis members to stay in their homes after dark, saying that personal security would be made available to any MP who requested it, though the protection was withdrawn soon after.
Attacks on elected officials have become more common in recent years, most notably the brutal murder of Progressive Party of Maldives MP Dr Afrasheem Ali in October 2012.
In February last year, MDP MP Alhan Fahmy was nearly paralysed after being stabbed in the back in a busy restaurant in the capital Malé.
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