Police label MDN investigation “politically motivated”, MDN defends report

The Maldives Police Service has labelled the recently commissioned private investigation into the disappearance of Minivan News journalist Ahmed Rilwan as “irresponsible” and “politically motivated”.

The findings of a Maldivian Democracy Network (MDN) commissioned report by private investigators from the UK were intended to deceive the public, read a police statement yesterday evening.

“That the report publicized profiles of individuals violates their human rights, undermines their dignity, incites hatred against them and poses risks to their security,” said police. “We will investigate the process by which the report was compiled and take action against those involved.”

Responding to the police statement today, the MDN has defended the report and denied it had breached the rights of any individuals or organisations.

“The information in the report  contains what is already in the public domain. We have simply acknowledged the elephant in the room. It is questionable now whether the police are too afraid to address it themselves,” said MDN’s Shahindha Ismail.

Police have argued that the report was “based on baseless information” intended to lead people into thinking Rilwan was abducted.

Rilwan was last seen 46 days ago on the 1am ferry to Hulhumalé shortly before neighbours reported seeing a man forced into a car outside his apartment.

The report concluded that the disappearance is likely to have been an abduction involving local gangs. It named a number of individuals, some of whom have since submitted complaints with police.

Police said today that those named in the report – conducted by UK security firm Athena Intelligence and Security – have reported intimidation since its release. Threats to “disappear” Shahindha and Rilwan’s family’s lawyer Mushfiq Mohamed have also been posted online in the past 24 hours.

Shahindha told Minivan News today that MDN had previously contacted police, offering to bring in outside experts to assist, without receiving any response. She noted that the work commissioned was “in no way a criminal investigation” and was intended to assist rather than obstruct police.

She did, however, question the police’s awareness of the fundamental rights, protected under Article 16 of the Constitution.

“MDN is of the opinion that MPS need further awareness on fundamental rights, constitution and especially the Article 16 of it. MDN is a longstanding organisation which has worked to promote and protect human rights, regardless of whether they are of offenders, and we are well aware of the fact that we have not infringed a fundamental right of an individual or organisation.”

“We are extremely concerned that the MPS is focusing on defending people who have been  alleged been involved in criminal behaviour such as stalking and threatening, rather than looking into these allegations. These are crimes under the Gang Act (17 and 18 / 2010),” she said.

Despite repeated urges from family, friends, and international groups to expedite the investigations, police have yet to offer conclusive theories or evidence explaining the disappearance.

Last week they police noted that no “concrete evidence” could be found between Rilwan and the  reported abduction outside his apartment shortly after his last sighting.

Rilwan’s family – which has been at the forefront to hold authorities accountable for the apparently stalled investigation – is described by police as having been used by certain groups to obtain information regarding its investigation.

“We do not believe such information should be publicized” said Tuesday’s statement, suggesting that its release is avoided by police as it jeopardises peace and order

Police concluded the statement by noting that it’s officers are trained throughout the world – including the US, the UK and Australia – and are capable of investigating the smallest of incident up to larger crimes such as terrorism.


7 thoughts on “Police label MDN investigation “politically motivated”, MDN defends report”

  1. MPS doesn't like it when they are questioned. You as a citizen of Maldives, it is your right to SHUT THE F**K UP.

    I read the report. The questions raised in the report are not new. Everyone has been talking about them. Only MPS would feel threatened because it shows that MPS is doing a shitty job.

  2. Much can be said to and fro.
    But questions as to what happened to him, where he is, and when is the Police going to conclude the case with an answer is not yet answered!
    This is the 47th day! And if the Police categorically can say it was not an abduction and facts in the report is baseless, what is it then?

  3. Predictably the gangs use the law to shut people up, but those trying to get justice won't get it. How Supreme.

  4. "[...]the report publicized profiles of individuals violates their human rights, undermines their dignity, incites hatred against them and poses risks to their security,” said police." ~ It is extremely disappointing that police only issue statements of protecting human rights when it comes to protecting the rights of known or alleged criminals! What about protecting the rights of innocent people, e.g. Rilwan, his family, etc.?

    "Police concluded the statement by noting that it’s officers are trained throughout the world – including the US, the UK and Australia – and are capable of investigating the smallest of incident up to larger crimes such as terrorism. ~ This kind of statement is insulting, to say the least, to the countries named here. Policing in these countries protect victims, not criminals or terrorists! In any case police in these countries keep the victim's families, the public and the media informed and updated on progress with high profile investigations until they solve the case. They do not keep silent and wait and hope that everyone will forget about it!

    Talking about "political motivation", whether anyone likes it or not, we do have a so-called pluralistic democracy in the Maldives. If the police do not want political mileage to be made out of high profile cases, they need to do some proactive community policing with transparency and accountability.

  5. What load of craps? Politically motivated…! A young innocent decent guy abducted at knife point simply because probably he can’t think like some psychopaths. And this is politics for this bunch of retards. Instead of appreciating the work other’s have done that suppose to be done by this bandits, simply blaming the effort by others to find the missing guy. Whether it is politics or idiocy or anything else, the important thing is look in to anything that can lead to finding the guy. It is obvious that those who are implicated in this are not lords of Buddha’s, or mother Theresa or Mahatma Gandhi’s. This attitude of this police gang proves their conspiracy theory behind every criminal case or simply trying to put this case under the carpet for some hidden agenda

    Every single clue and every lead has to be analyzed and every suspect has to be investigated. Anyone with two neuron in their brain, should see in that report their allegation is the possible reason behind the disappearance of that journalist. Now who is politicizing this, is very clear; what can you expect from such a gang who simply toppled a democratic government for some ideological reason? Who can play a bigger political game than such highly motivated gang? This gang is motivated to its core to work against freedom, democracy, human rights and rule of law that is what they always fought against.

    Probably this whole picture and every detail in the report are real truth already they knew and simply trying to protect those behind it. This is what we call politics not the work done by those who wanted help to find that innocent guy.

  6. I say the MPS is nothing more than an enforcement wing of the ruling party. They have no right to whine about 'politicizing'.

    That's why I quit on the 7th of february 2012.


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