PIC asks police to “stay within guidelines” when handling protest

The Police Integrity Commission (PIC) has asked the police “not to be biased” in handling the separate protests to be held this Friday by the ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) and religious organisations and opposition parties.

The PIC statement reminded the police that they are required under law to protect every Maldivian citizen and their property, while maintaining peace and harmony.

“Therefore, the commission reminds the police of its responsibilities in monitoring the protests to be held on December 23 and asks not to be biased in upholding the Maldives constitution and the laws,” the statement read.

Police Sub-Inspector Ahmed Shiyam said “police are closely monitoring everything related to the protests and will manage the events as necessary. Police will act according to the situation.”

Minivan News observed that the PIC is mandated to investigate complaints regarding the police. However, it was unable to clarify if the body was mandated to issue cautions and requests in advance of an event.

Shiyam said the police did not feel obligated to comply with PIC advance directives. “No, the statement has not altered our operations,” he said.

The commission has also urged protest organisers to preserve the social harmony in the country and protect each others’ rights.

A relatively new independent organisation, the PIC lately reported an increase in public awareness of its services.

Speaking to Minivan News at UNDP’s “Did You Know?” event on November 26, PIC member Dr Hala Hameed said, “We are getting more reports of police misconduct than previously.”

Hameed stressed that the PIC supports the police as well as the community. “We are here to empower the police and ensure that they have the appropriate resources to do their work, as well as oversee their operations.” She explained that the public believed independent bodies were likely to be effective.

The PIC has been involved in the build-up to the protests since November when the Islamic Ministry deemed the Addu SAARC monuments unconstitutional.

Two days prior to the UNDP event religious NGO Jamiyyathul Salaf sent a letter to the PIC demanding it investigate and take action against police for protecting the ‘idolatrous’ SAARC monuments in Addu, which it considered unconstitutional.

A police spokesperson subsequently said police were not protecting any “idols”.

“Those were properties of other nations and police are legally obliged to protect people’s property,’’ he said.

Religious organisations including Adhaalath party are gearing up for a protest to ‘defend Islam’ on Friday, December 23. Ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) currently plans to hold a defensive protest on the same date. Some politicians have requested that MDP step down from its protest to avoid unnecessary clashes.

PIC Director Shahinda Ismail did not respond to inquiries at time of press.


6 thoughts on “PIC asks police to “stay within guidelines” when handling protest”

  1. Inshallah may Allah (swt) give respect to the police as they have been one of the only bodies of the civil service including a few others which have really worked hard to crack down on crime in the Maldives while the Government has done nothing to help them put away criminals which they took a lot of man power, time and extra work to catch and collect all evidences required.

  2. The MPS is too politicized an institution. The Police Commissioner is directly appointed by the President and there are no express requirements that the Commissioner has to qualify in one aspect or another.

    Meanwhile the Police is still very much a military institution with the protection of the government and government property being its main directive and mandate.

    Please refer to articles and reports commissioned/published by the MDP and their activists during their time in the opposition for details of police brutality and subservience to the President.

  3. wether we like it or not it will be the same so no need to say that to be fair we all know that its only one sided.so i am just gonna sit back and see what happens.round one start 😛

  4. And are we expected to believe that Ms Hala Hameed - niece of Maumoon Abdul Gayoom is not biased ?

    Police Integrity Commission doesn't have much an integrity when they make advance announcements however correct their concerns maybe.

    Of course the Police have to follow the law and must not be political in carrying out their duties. But when Abdulla Hameed's daughter makes these kinds of statements, it just smells bad!

  5. I like Vagumans comment. Shall we all wait and see then.

    Ilyas what we are seeing now are cracks in the brickwork.

    Minivan is showing obvious bias by advocating on behalf of the Police Service while expressing its own opinion (of course through carefully worded "research") on what the PIC should or should not do.

    Meanwhile the PIC is moving to defame the Police in time for their expected actions at Fridays protests.

    Like I said earlier, the lines have already been drawn. No use arguing for reason and restraint. This is now war.

  6. How can the Islamic Ministry of Salaf or any other organisation (independent or not) delcare something as "unconstitutional"? The only body with the right to declare anything on such a grave matter are the Courts of Law!

    This is what I've been saying all along (others have said the same thing). Once again, the "religious" parties/organisations see an opportunity to make some political capital and aiming to make the best of that opportunity.

    As for the Police Commissioner and his independence, some are arguing he can't be independent because he is appointed by the President. How else should he be selected? The only way non-partisan way to elect him is through an election process. But that's fraught with the same problem. You'll have various political parties enter into the question and the winner will be of some political colour. This is a political post in most countries.

    Do you really know the role of the Police? Their role is to uphold the law and that's it! They DO NOT have any duty to "protect" anyone! This is something that a lot of people misunderstand.

    Now this demonstration will throw the Police into a lot of tricky positions. If the President is taking part in it, for example, the Police are required by law to provide certain security duties. This may be seen as taking sides! But in fact, the Police will be doing their duty under the law of the land.

    Lastly, the PIC doesn't have any right in "advising" Police on how to conduct their affairs. The PIC has a defined role and that's as an independent body to investigate policing when the public have grievances against the Police. Our "independent" institutions are known to spread their wings, so to speak.


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