Nasheed’s arrest the “end of Maldivian democracy”: MDP

The Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) has called for protests following the arrest of former President Mohamed Nasheed by masked riot police on Monday morning.

Nasheed was in the Dhoonidhoo island detention centre on Monday night, awaiting his trial on Tuesday.

“October 8, 2012 will be remembered as the day that democracy died in the Maldives,” said MDP spokesperson Hamid Abdul Ghafoor in a statement.

“The reality is it has been on life-support since February, but today the plug was pulled and the lights turned off,” Ghafoor said.

Thirty-four members of the MDP’s National Council met following Nasheed’s arrest and declared that they would present information about Nasheed’s situation at 8:00pm on Monday evening, before calling for protests.

Nasheed defied a travel ban and multiple summons from the Hulhumale’ Magistrate Court, after his party disputed the legitimacy of the court and labelled the charges against him as a politically-motivated effort to sabotage the party’s southern atoll election campaign, and Nasheed’s candidacy in the next presidential election.

“There is huge contention whether Hulhumale’ Court has been granted powers by the law to try any case whatsoever,” wrote former chair of the committee that drafted the 2008 constitution, Ibrahim ‘Ibra’ Ismail.

“The Constitution says very clearly that trial courts will be defined and created by law. When Parliament created courts by the Judicature Act, there was no “Hulhumale’ Court” designated as a Magistrates Court. The Supreme Court itself is still sitting on the case of the validity of the Hulhumale’ Court. It was created by the Judicial Service Commission (JSC), without authority derived from law,” wrote Ismail.

“Therefore the validity of any orders or judgements issued by this court is questionable, and the Constitution says no one has to obey any unlawful orders, ie orders which are not derived from law. Therefore, President Nasheed’s decision to ignore the summons has more than reasonable legal grounds,” he stated.

Ismail further noted that court summons were routinely ignored without consequence by political figures allied with the current government, observing that People’s Alliance (PA) MP and Deputy Speaker of Parliament Ahmed Nazim had defied 11 summons before appearing in court over corruption charges.

“Impunity can only be matched by impunity,” Ismail stated.

“The outlook appears to be rather bleak. There will be chaos. There already is. It may worsen. And then, if we are lucky, out of chaos will emerge order. But what kind of order it will be depends on which paradigm wins. At this point in time, I would tentatively suggest it may be religious extremism.”

Morning arrest

Nasheed was arrested on the southern island of Fares-Mathoda, where he was reportedly scheduled to meet the Danish Ambassador, and was put on a speedboat bound for Male’ where he is due to appear in court on Tuesday.

Saleema Mohamed, a participant of the campaign trip, was inside the living room when the police entered the house, noted an MDP statement.

“They pushed their way in, hurting anyone inside the house. Minister Aslam asked them repeatedly to calm down and to not hurt anyone. He was saying: ‘this is my house’. The police shoved him and pushed him and he fell on the glass table and broke the table,” Saleema said.

According to the party’s statement, “the police forcefully entered Aslam’s house, barging onlookers out of the way. They used shields, batons as well as foul language at the people gathered near the house. Nasheed’s former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ahmed Naseem, and former Press Secretary Mohamed Zuhair, were pepper sprayed by the police and violently dragged from the house, while the police also removed members of parliament from the scene.”

Police Spokesperson Sub-Inspector Hassan Haneef earlier stated that “there was no trouble. Nasheed was very cooperative,” but was unable to confirm whether police had used pepper spray.

President’s Office Media Secretary Masood Imad said the office wished to “stay clear of this matter.”

“We have asked the Maldives Police Service to notify media of any developments. We know as much as the [media] about developments,” he said.

Defence Minister Mohamed Nazim has meanwhile launched a second case against former President Nasheed, seeking MVR 3.75 million (US$243,506) in compensation for defamation after Nasheed called him a “baghee” (traitor).

Nasheed’s lawyer, former Human Resources Minister Hassan Latheef, said Nasheed would defend himself by proving that the allegations were true.

US Embassy statement

The US Embassy in Colombo has issued a statement urging “all parties to find a way forward that respects Maldivian democratic institutions, the rule of law and the Maldivian constitution, as well as protects human rights and fundamental freedoms.”

“We urge all sides to remain calm, reject the use of violence and to avoid rhetoric that could increase tensions. It is our expectation that former President Nasheed be given every due process that the law allows,” the embassy stated.

“In response to statements that somehow the United States was involved in the detention of former President Nasheed, the Embassy strongly denies that claim,” it added.

“We note that all US law enforcement cooperation [with the Maldives] includes activities that focus on professionalisation and professional development of the police and places special emphasis on the need to adhere to international standards of human rights and the strengthening of democratic institutions and the rule of law.”


38 thoughts on “Nasheed’s arrest the “end of Maldivian democracy”: MDP”

  1. Arrest of Nasheed is part of a big conspiracy. The killing of moderate scholar and bringing foreign forensic team is all part of this conspiracy. The killing of Afraseem was planed and executed by the cheap banana republican police and forensic evidence are already manipulated and to bring the foreign team with the manipulated evidence is another game play like Coni. Now all evidence will be put forward in front of this team and MDP and anni will be convicted for killing of scholar. The crazy Maldivian have no brain what is happening in their back yard.

  2. FREE ANNI!!!! @US No need to ask us to stay calm USA is killing democracy in Maldives with help of INDIA..

  3. I'm ignoring all the hyperbole and halabaloo about the "end of democracy" and whatnot. There was no way Nasheed was going to be allowed to go island hopping with impunity in blatant disregard for the rule of law.

    What is important is that Nasheed has finally been put in a position whereby he will have to answer for his crimes.

    This is a good day for the Maldives.

  4. this is bloody politics. And the dirtier the politician, the larger the vote bank!

  5. Hamid u gotta cut some them some slack....they pulled the plug and they DID turn off the lights too...current haradhah eba bala ehnun...anni ah nubeliyas :p

    bye bye Mr.maldivian Pie!

  6. I fully support you Mary. The crazy Maldivian have no brain of what is happening in their dhefai dheythere! Very True, Very True!

  7. Shame on Gayoom and his goons, how dare they think that in this century they will get away with such crimes.

    A ban on tourism will be a result; free Anni now or the price will be much more than the dictator can bear. The world is watching and will not allow this abuse of human rights.

  8. who is this f*****g blake keep out of our business
    the americans and indians are distroying our small nation get lost

  9. October 8, 2012 will be remembered as the day that Maldivians had tangible evidence that the rule of law has indeed come to Maldives. It also marks the day that for the first time the MDP big-wigs has put violence and confrontation in second place giving peace a chance. It also marks the day probably that many of Dr. Ismail’s students would remind him that 2 wrongs do not make a wrong.

    It also is the day that Maldivians are witnessing a welcome change in how the President Of Maldives and his office works and finally it’s also the day that many Maldivians will ask Dr. Ibra Ismail What does he actually mean by “religious extremism”?

    Ex-President Nasheed was the first to invoke religious extremism in Maldives on the world stage, and now at a critical juncture when Maldives is very much in the news Dr. Ismail chooses to repeat the charge of religious extremism in the Maldives - in the most widely read English Online Daily. I wonder who the teacher is & who the student is - in this 2 man tango. I would like to remind Dr. Ibra Ismail that invoking the bogey of Religious Extremism (non-existent in Maldives) impacts negatively on the Western Psyche & this might impact negatively on tourist arrivals & foreign investments in the Maldives. Targeting the Maldivian economy in his political fights could only bring misery to many & is cruel.

    @ Mary.
    Now that you mention foreign forensics experts I must say that I was extremely surprised that, when MDP lead activists and especially President Nasheed’s close associates were detained as suspects in Dr. Afrasheem’s brutal murder, why President Nasheed failed to demand for foreign forensic experts to take over or help us in the investigation?

    He always insists on foreign experts to come and help us - remember the CMAG drama? Not only President Nasheed, but also our ex Foreign Minister now in UK. With their UK connections Scotland Yard sleuths would have been fantastic, don’t you think? Have I missed something here & was it really President Nasheed who called for them, & I missed the announcement?

    Last but not least let’s all be calm and all together work for the rule of law. Mind you splitting legal hairs are also part & parcel of the process.

  10. america is the bloodiest country in the world history
    how could you talk about freedom and democracy

  11. R.I.P Maldivian democracy! Thank you for the never-ending entertainment you gave us for 3 years!

  12. Democracy died right when Dr.Afrasheem was killed by MDP activists , in order to blame the heinous act on Muslim extremists so that foreign support and aid will be a constant to the clown called Anni.It is a real shame that other more level headed members of MDP are too afraid to control Anni and take the direction of MDP towards being a formidable opposition party, rather than making it into a gang of thugs,hell bent on showing perceived injustices while provoking acts of violence.

  13. @ Asthaa

    You will agree that What America is or not in world history is academic. What is abundantly clear is that we have much to learn from their Democratic institutions and their experience in the rule of law.The advice the American Ambassador gave would be appropriate for any country in the world which wishes well for its people & is...

    “all parties to find a way forward that respects Maldivian democratic institutions, the rule of law and the Maldivian constitution, as well as protects human rights and fundamental freedoms.”

    “We urge all sides to remain calm, reject the use of violence and to avoid rhetoric that could increase tensions. It is our expectation that former President Nasheed be given every due process that the law allows,”

    Now what room is there in such good advice to object. We aught to be saying "Thank-you Mr. Ambassador".

    I also wish to once again applaud the editorial policy of this newspaper which irrespective of the editorial leanings of the publication finds room for very harsh dissent. Am I dreaming or Change is really in the air that gives one hope to live in dignity, freedom & peace in a civil society that's worthy of human beings.

  14. Traitor Waheed thinks he can get away with arresting President Nasheed. The whole idea of arresting Pres. Nasheed is these lawyers, Jameel, Dhiyaana and Azima, they think they are above the Law by manipulating the judicial system and appointing the Gayoom loyal judges. Karma is a bitch; they accuse Reeko of making an illegal court, now it’s the Baaghees who are making the illegal court in HUlhumale.

  15. Something is fishy, why didn’t the crazy sheiks Imram, Shaheem, Ilyas and Adbullo didnt attend the funeral of Dr. Afraasheem. The entire beard gang was missing from the picture.

    They know something.

  16. @T

    What I got from all of what you have written is that the accusation of violating rule of law appears to only apply to President Nasheed. No one appears to have violated the constitution. What a laugh!!!

    October 8 2012, in my view marks the day the current administration proved to the world that the Justice System is what President Nasheed has been telling the world it is. Rubber stamp authority serving former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom to protect him and his family from crimes committed against the people and to disempower President Nasheed.

    Thank you, President Nasheed for creating the space for us to see the madness of the Presidential Wannabees Hassan Saeed, Jameel, Shaheem, Gayoom, Gasim, Yaamin and Dr Waheed and their pathetic attempts scrambling for straws.

    Don't be in such a rush to celebrate, T. This is exactly what we wanted to happen.

    The joke, my dear friends is on you.

  17. Baagee nazim eh...keke

    An egg will always be an egg. you can paint it and decorate it or put in the cooker and eat it. but it will alwas be an egg.where ever it is

  18. Democracy ? What democracy,,the Maldives for years has been Gayoom's private business,and by any means, he wanted it back.Democracy, ie Nasheed was just a fly in the ointment . Gayoom is back in power and the Maldivian nation will pay the price..You had your chance for change with an elected President and you blew-it...

  19. Its funny to see some few negative comments about the Americans. Maldives is a s$%t country now because of dictator Maumoon and dreamer Hassan Saeed.

  20. This is the beginning of killing democracy in the Maldives.

    The end is yet to come perhaps in a cass of its own and style!

    If democracy dies in the Maldives its root cause will be the hypocrisy of the democratic world and its leaders!

  21. Democracy in the Maldives died way before Oct 8th. The padlocking of the Supreme Court, the unlawful arrests of two MPs, and finally the arbitrary arrest of a citizen. Those were the first symptoms of the fatal blow that Nasheed and his supporters gave to democracy in Maldives.

  22. Free Anni!!!
    Enlighten ignorance!
    Free bondage!
    Unfortunately I see no simpler solution to the tragic scenario..!

  23. @ mary

    SPOT ON. a few ppl have the capacity to think in that train of thought. its a shame when all this is goin down the citizens are too chicken s&*t in this country to do anything about it. a handful of people cannot do this. its has to be a MASS MOVEMENT. doubt it will ever happen coz people are too afraid to do anything to CHANGE. better tag along and go with the flow. thats what we are good at. did that for 30years so why not go back to the sheep mentality. works for everyone.. im sick of this. especially when it feels so normal after the arrest of the man who fought with his dear life to bring change to this country.

  24. @Aristotle

    ooh those LSD's worked you up really good eh!.. i bet you'are wiping your ass right now in torabora

  25. @Gui Rownu. yap. they got confirmation from god that he's goin to hell. so why pray for his salvation.

  26. @ Saleeem

    I'm afraid u have missed my point. Perhaps its due to my poor English and long winded posts. Sorry. However I like you to know that when someone who I voted into power has made my country drunk in violence and gory there can be no celebrations. President Nasheed's failure is the failure of each and every single one of the citizens of this country. However bitter it is the crimes that President committed as President has to be answered for in a court of law. Not because he is "Nashee" but because he is just like any other citizen of this land answerable for his actions. Its called rule of law.

    If President Waheed takes the law into his own hands he too is NO LESS answerable for his actions. We as citizens have a civic duty to correct our leaders. When we don't now you know what happens. Rest assured this is not a time to gloat but to cry.

  27. aren't WE pathetic. doesnt have the balls to take a stand against the brutal regime after they arrested the only man who fought for our freedom from a dictator. good luck to years n years to brutality, oppression and slavery. as long as we are this piteous, we deserve this.

  28. @T

    Can you describe to me how President Nasheed made our "country drunk in violence and gory"? Educate yourself, get the facts.

    Read the Asia Foundation Report on Gang Violence. Heroin came into our country in the 90s, with it gangs; with gangs violence. It is not us ordinary citizens demonstrating on the streets who bring on the violence, it is the hired goons who do the violence.

    The regime of Gayoom looked the other way as our children were murdered by the posion that was fed to them and those who fed them got away scot free, protected by the security forces, protected by Gayoom.

    Now lets talk about rule of law. the lower courts were established violating the constitution. That was the day rule of law was violated.

    The watchdog of the judicial system and the Supreme Court looked the other way. THAT was violation of rule of law.

    The days when guys like you could write the rubbish you write and think we will swallow it is gone. We are awake, and we will fight for the right to live in peace.

    Wake up, T. If you listened hard you may hear the truth of what really happened to our nation.

    As for Dr Waheed, he broke the rule of law when he particpated in the coup. The CONI report ? What a joke. Toilet paper, my friend, toilet paper.

  29. u dont like the replacement either ???
    how long does it take to learn u have made an egregious error ???

  30. @ Salem

    Since President Nasheed’s taking over the Presidency he had 3 years to put right or begin to put right the follies of Authoritarian Rule under Gayoom executed by brilliant functionaries such as you. He simply failed to do it. This country has a constitution and therein is provided a legal framework within which to work out strategies of reform and change without having recourse to criminal acts of kidnapping and incarcerating people without due process. It becomes twice more damaging and puts in question the whole Democratic agenda the country had embarked on, when it’s the President who has decided to make a mockery of the very principles that he proclaimed he was adopting.

    The country of course had recourse to his impeachment as a remedy, and judging the political atmosphere prevailing at the time President Nasheed would have faced the indignity of facing the impeachment process whatever the outcome. However President Nasheed had resigned. His resignation has been deemed lawful with no coercion and the swearing in of the new President has been judged to lawful according to the law by an Independent Commission comprising 4 Maldivian Commissioners and a judge from Canada, a judge from New Zealand & a Retd judge from Singapore.

    The resignation of 1 Commissioner -Nasheed’s rep on the eve of publication of the report after leaking the report to President Nasheed does not alter the validity of the report. Quite the contrary there is the universal praise for the work put in at the compilation of the report and has been praised by the UN & its Sec. Genera & the Commonwealth. As a result there is universal recognition of the new Govt. These cannot be denied.

    If Nasheed had issues there is due process. We did not see Nasheed work through the judicial process. If he failed in a lower court he had recourse to appeal. There is a high court and a supreme court in the land. Especially majority of the Supreme Court judges are appointed by him. The Prosecutor General too is appointed by him. If he was King Nasheed I, like Kim Jong UN I, nobody COULD have said anything but he is the President of Maldives with an oath to uphold the Constitution. He violated the Constitution and is so answerable. Period.

    As for the violence and Gory please don’t play ignorant. In the last seven months since his resignation the political life has been transformed to cut throat violent politics. People have been cut up, heads broken, threatened, robbed and murder never before seen committed, and acts of arson every now & then instigated by his followers. I also know that President Nasheed publicly at demonstrations has threatened violence along with his most thuggish senior ministers. All this contributes to the country being gripped by an atmosphere of violence, with widespread attacks on the police both verbally & physically. It further compounds the problem when President Nasheed lets loose on the capital hundreds of drug addicts and criminals with violent records, with ill thought of programs & consequences and indequate checks and balances.

    I do agree that these problems date back to Gayooms days. But President Nasheed had 3 long years to start rectifying the problem. His solution was to let loose the criminals in the hundreds with what motive I leave it to you to judge. The explanation is either that he was advised by incompetent advisors or President Nasheed refused to listen to good advice. The bottom line is that we the ordinary public has to take responsibility because we elected an absolute novice who had zero experience in any administrative capacity of any sort for any amount of time and worst of all refused to listen to advice given by anyone but the hippy like sidekicks, ex porn-stars & the like. You couldn’t run a corner grocery store leave alone a country like that. I recognize that you are an experienced old hand with a bone to pick with Gayoom. Surely there comes a time when we have to see beyond Gayoom & to say enough is enough. After all we look into our mirror every morning!


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