The Police Integrity Commission (PIC) has ruled that it had not come across substantial evidence supporting the claims of opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) Chairperson ‘Reeko’ Moosa Manik being attacked by Corporal Mohamed Atheef on February 8, 2012.
Last year on February 8, the MDP backed by thousands of its supporters took to the street in protest following the controversial ousting of the party – led government of former President Mohamed Nasheed.
The protest was met by a vigorous and a brutal crackdown by police officers – who the Human Rights Commission of Maldives (HRCM) stated were “emotionally hyped and charged”.
The HRCM in its investigative report into the events concluded that the police crackdown on the MDP march, which left dozens of demonstrators injured, was “brutal” and “without prior warning.”
Manik who was at the forefront of the demonstration was seen singled out by the enraged police and in videos that later became public showed him being dragged by police unconscious and severely injured.
In another video, he along with ousted President Nasheed and MP Mariya Ahmed Didi were seen dragged out of a ceramic shop in Male’ by the police while Nasheed was heard in the video pleading the police to not to torture the people.
However, in a case report sent to Corporal Mohamed Atheef – whom Moosa alleged was one of the police officers who attacked him – the PIC stated that the commission was not able to obtain sufficient evidence required to prosecute Corporal Atheef.
The local media outlets reported that Coporal Atheef was seen in pictures and videos that had come out in public later.
Corporal Atheef however had denied the allegations.
“On that very day, I was trying to protect Moosa Manik and escort him safely out of the area. I have never tortured a Maldivian citizen even before and even now. I shall never torture anyone,” Corporal Atheef told Minivan News.
Despite PIC’s decision, the prosecutor general had pressed charges against another police officer Mohamed Waheed for allegedly hitting Manik in the head with a metal canister on the same day.
Another officer, Ibrahim Faisal is facing charges for assaulting MP Mariya Ahmed Didi.
The PIC had previously said that it had been looking into complaints of police misconduct especially during protests.