The Police Integrity Commission (PIC) has stated that Commissioner of Police Abdulla Riyaz was appointed to the position in compliance with the Police Act, and that his appointment was lawful.
In a statement issued today, the police said that the PIC had sent a document informing them about this conclusion and stating that the PIC had decided Riyaz was appointed in compliance with Police Act 2008/5 article 52(a) and 52(b).
Police said that President Dr Waheed Hassan had appointed Riyaz on Feburay 8, 2012. Before Dr Waheed appointed him as the commissioner, the Home Minister Mohamed Ahmed Jameel had appointed him as Assistant Police Commissioner on the same day.
According to media reports the PIC investigated the case after some politicians expressed doubts over the legitimacy of Riyaz’s position.
On August 20, Riyaz posted a letter he claimed to have been sent, urging the police to “say no” to former President Mohamed Nasheed on September 7, just as they had on February 7 – an event the author described as a “jihad”.
The letter, addressed to the entire police force, praised officers for their “patience” in the face of Nasheed’s “cunning” and “malicious” actions during his presidency.
On August 24, the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) issued a statement stating that the ”MDP firmly believe that Riyaz, by choosing to tweet the image of this particular letter against a candidate running in the presidential elections has contravened the codes of conducts enshrined in the Police Act and the Presidential Elections Act.”
Riyaz was appointed commissioner immediately after Nasheed’s resignation, which Nasheed and MDP would later claim was a police coup. The party has also repeatedly questioned the legality of Riyaz’s role on February 7.
The allegations were later rejected by a Commonwealth-backed Commission of National Inquiry (CoNI) that ruled that there had been “no coup, no duress and no mutiny”, while also calling for action taken against unlawful acts committed by the country’s security forces following the transfer.
During the statement regarding Riyaz’s social media activity, the party again raised the issue of the police commissioner’s legitimacy.
”The MDP notes that this is unfortunately not the first instance where Mr Riyaz, appointed in dubious circumstances, has used his position in a blatantly politically manner,” the MDP statement read.
”The MDP would like to draw attention to Riyaz’s role in the February 7 2012 forceful overthrow of government, subsequent police brutality, impunity and lack of accountability, politically motivated detentions, unconstitutional barring of Raajje TV from police service events, the refusal to accept summons by parliamentary select committees and the extensive interview he recently gave on a policy which was alleged to be the MDP’s.”