Police deny pepper-spraying Nasheed, “urge MDP to publish statements responsibly”

The Human Rights Commission of Maldives (HRCM) is to investigate the pepper-spraying of former President Mohamed Nasheed by police during a protest on July 14.

A video of the incident shows a riot police officer reaching over a crowd of people surrounding Nasheed and spraying him in the face. Nasheed turns away as the spray hits him, and is taken away by his supporters, but later returned to the protest.

“Maldives Police did not use any excessive force nor was pepper spray directed to anyone’s face,” police said in a statement.

“The Maldives Police strongly denies MDP allegations of directly pepper spraying on individuals eyes at close range, especially ex-president Mohamed Nasheed, and urge the Maldivian Democratic Party to publish statements responsibly,” police said.

Police admitted using the spray to control the crowd during their recovery of barricades removed by the demonstrators, but have denied intentionally targeting the former President.

“Pepper spray was used to halt the charging demonstrators on July 14th night against police barricades set for security reasons. This spraying was never in any case directed to human eyes in close range but into the air to avert possible regulation violations by demonstrators,” the statement read.

“The allegations made by the Maldivian Democratic Party against Maldives Police pepper spraying directly on Ex-president Nasheed’s face is not true. The Maldives Police Service have no intentions on directly pepper spraying on Ex-President Mohamed Nasheed nor any other individuals; however, the incident is currently being looked into and necessary actions will be taken against any officer who uses excessive force.”

Police also appealed the demonstrators “not to rage in violence and not use any loudspeakers as the unfriendly circumstance by the demonstrators went deep into the night.”


Asked to clarify the circumstances under which pepper spray was used on demonstrators, Police Sub-Inspector Hassan Haneef referred Minivan News to the police statement.

The Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) have meanwhile condemned the “cowardly” pepper spraying of their leader, alleging that the Special Operations officers sought out the former President and deliberately sprayed him.

“Nasheed is a former president and the security services are legally responsible for his security,” the party said in a statement.

The incident had “further destroyed public confidence in police”, the MDP stated, and was “an attempt to create chaos and incite protesters to violence.”

The MDP’s Parliamentary group leader, MP Ibrahim Mohamed ‘Ibu’ Solih, said the party would submit the matter to parliament’s national security committee.

“Police should be mindful of maintaining their authority and integrity at a time when confidence in the police institution has been undermined,” Solih told local media.

President’s Office Spokesperson Abbas Adil Riza was not responding at time of press.


15 thoughts on “Police deny pepper-spraying Nasheed, “urge MDP to publish statements responsibly””

  1. friendly nations,please don't supply pepper spray to this banana republic.

  2. It was a some rare perfume. Baaghees love Nasheed. They never hit him either. They massaged him down the road.

  3. ohh look at me! what a big man am i with the baton and helmet!

  4. Where is Abbas now?? Try and lie your way out of this one for the illegal coup regime??

  5. Why Nasheed had to be excluded . pepper spray was used when he was sleeping at his house.

    This cult is the man behind all the violence in this country and the idiot is not above the law. May be for some MDP thugs , he is the GOD and idol.

  6. The video speaks for itself. Clearly the tall cop searched and fond his target from among the crowd and reached to Nasheed's face before spraying. He could be a cult leader but when Police does wrong, it cannot be legal. It is a manifestation of police brutality! An attack on a former President!

  7. Baqarah 6, 7.

    2:6 Those who disbelieve — it being alike to them whether thou warn them or warn them not — they will not believe.

    2:7 Allah has sealed their hearts and their hearing; and there is a covering on their eyes, and for them is a grievous chastisement.

  8. Pretty clear what happened, but again, the same old lies from the police. The poor Maldives.

  9. Gayoom was not attacked by Police in any protest because he never attend any. But I am not saying Gayoom is innocent and he is a crook man and had drag this country into deep trouble .

    Dictator Anni is the culprit of all the violence happening in this country today and the guy need to learn how to behave in a civilized society as former president.

    The Guy is blood thirsty for Presidency and another crook man to rob this country after getting the taste of country wealth.

  10. Police must stop being a mafia against it's own people. President Nasheed is amn of high accomplishments and he has the country proud

  11. The most corrupted and brutal 21 century COPS (Maldives Police Service and few MNDF ..... what a shame..

  12. Can't police just agree out of shame even? That video is pretty clear that he was pepper sprayed intentionally! Or he ain't working for the police? Shame on MPS!

  13. The video clearly shows how our police issue fake statements believing that people won't discover the truth.
    We need a new free and fair election as quickly as possible and the new government elected by majority of people should put in their electoral program that the police judiciary and MNDF are completely reviewed. Personally I would like the MNDF to be dismantled and big shopping complexes built in place of their various Headquarters encouraging trade and tourism in Male.
    Our constitution should also be reviewed to avoid any abuse of power and the returning to the polls as soon as any major problem occurs.
    We cannot continue living in a banana republic in 2012!!!


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