Police launch investigation of Muleeage-MNDF protest

The Maldives Police Service has issued a statement saying it will investigate “serious crimes” committed during the protest outside the president’s residence, Muleeage, and MNDF headquarters late on Thursday night.

The police statement also condemned comments made by opposition Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) MP Ali Waheed that police supported the protest, and accused him of “trying to take away the people’s trust in the police. Police will always be faithful to the government and fulfil their duty.”

The president’s press secretary, Mohamed Zuhair, said he believed Ali Waheed “may be right”.

“I believe the police force is largely composed of law abiding officers, but there is still a rogue element and this may be the element Ali Waheed is referring to,” Zuhair said.

“The [protest] coincided with the firing of several police including assistant commissioner Abdulla Riyaz,” he said.

“Not 24 hours after [the protest], police raided a premises (Marble apartments) where three state ministers were staying, after claims of a girl crying. They went through the apartments saying they were searching for forensic evidence that a girl had been raped. Three times they raided and the fourth time they came in plain clothes and were denied entry – I’m sure some of them were not comfortable with the recent changes in the Maldives and the fact that their former hero lost the election.”

Zuhair also claimed it “was within the resources of Riyaz to find out certain facts about the man who [allegedly] died in police custody, to try and rile up the crowd.”

“I suspect this was instigated [from within] the police. They were trying to make a similar situation to Evan Naseem.”

Riyaz was not responding to calls at time of press. Sub-inspector Ahmed Shiyam said police could not comment on the case during the investigation, but noted that the police operation to control the crowd had ultimately been successful “and police did not fail in any way.”

“People gathered at the artificial beach and proceeded to police headquarters,” Shiyam said. “Police tried to stop them but they broke police lines twice, before police reorganised and dispersed the crowd outside the president’s house.”

He noted that “senior parliament members broke police lines after police ordered them not to”, while in addition, “some people tried to enter the gate of MNDF headquarters, and MNDF has sent the case to the police. This is really serious to national security.”

DRP MP Ahmed Mahlouf, who acknowledged himself as one of the protest’s leaders, questioned police support for the government.

“We are sure that 90 per cent of the police and MNDF do not support the government’s policy or the president,” he said, adding that the police statement sounded “very pressured”.

“Statements on DhiFM that the protest was trying to overthrow the government were just not true,” he said. “We try to control our protests and ask people to not attack the police and be nice. I’ve watched MDP’s protests for almost five years, and they are very violent and they attack police.”

Despite accusations to the contrary, the protesters outside Muleeage did not throw stones into the compound, Mahlouf said, “as there were no rocks in the area”.

He acknowledged that some protesters had thrown sand in the faces of police officers – Zuhair accused “opposition” parties of “employing Indian and Bangladeshi expatriates” to throw the sand.

“I also saw that on the video,” Mahlouf said. “I do not support that, it was not something nice. But I believe that happened after police fired tear gas, while the crowd was very angry.”

He said claims that the protesters had tried to gain entry to the MNDF base and the president’s residence were “a joke”.

“Nobody would have gone inside, for sure. I was one of the people leading the protest and there was no plan to go inside the MNDF headquarters or the president’s residence,” he said.

“Saying that the DRP was trying to enter the MNDF headquarters is a joke. I am still mentally fit and would not walk into the MNDF base with guns [pointed at me].”

Mahlouf insisted that the protest “wasn’t organised by us” and it “never got out of hand. I was very happy with the way the police and MNDF treated us. We didn’t do anything against the law; we can protest where we want without informing the government. They can’t override the constitution.

“It is sad that Mohamed Nasheed’s government is investigating a protest when he is the president who gave Maldivians the right to protest,” he added.


21 thoughts on “Police launch investigation of Muleeage-MNDF protest”

  1. Mr. Mahfool are you suggesting that the video of your guys going to the MNDF main gate and banging the door is all special effects? nothing is real in it?

  2. well well well Mr Mahfool, now you believe that president Nasheed gave the Maldivians the right to protest? hehe you must be so afraid now that you could get arrested for your behavior in the illegal protest.

  3. DRP should understand that you guys can't break our security gates and take over MNDF. Protesting is not a problem as long as you understand where to enter and what to do. Moreover, understand what the relevant law says.

  4. Some people still are unable to digest that fact that the government has changed. Why not just wait till the term is over and bring about a peaceful change instead of this aggravation.
    I don't think that the MDP government is doing that good a job but still, coming out to the streets to force them out is not the solution. In Maumoons case it was different and so much of the peaceful mechanisms needed just did not exist at that time.
    Anni can never be a Maumoon and the tactics used to overthrow Maumoon shouldn't be used now. It will jeopardize any hope we have to sustaining and strengthening our fledgling democratic state.

  5. mahloof are you a member of parliament? if so you should be well informed that each and every country there are places where you can't demonstrate, there are places where national security is threatened when idiots like you demonstrate, and also you guys didn't have any respect to the mosque, which shows very clearly that you guys were more of psychopaths, what would happen if you go and demonstrate outside pentagon saying it's our constitutional rights? and do remember first thing is national security then comes the rights,

  6. hey. Mahuloof..past days you were saying...maumoon gave freedom of assembly and democracy in a plate to maldives and now you are saying Anni gave it..just cox u guys will be investigated for not protest but trying to threat national security aswell the life of the first family of maldives..

  7. This Abdulla Riyaaz is a crook. He cannot still digest that he is like any one of us. I just can't wait for a day to see this guy arrested in Dhoonidhoo

  8. Mahloof dear. Grow up and then become a politician. Your inexperience, lack of intelligence and judgement is showing the more you talk.

  9. DRP is being hijacked by extreme elements - umar naseer, mundhu, ali waheed. thasmeen will never be able to control these hot heads... and why should they listen to thasmeen anyways, he's just come in and taken maumoon's crown without even bothering to ask the members of his party if they want him

  10. And to think that Mahfool is representing a part of Male' .... shame on those who voted the idiot in!

  11. The majority of the Police Services are committed to maintaining order and the rule of law. It is a shame though that there are some of their member's encouraging disorder, havoc and chaos.

    It is a shame that they are encouraging harassment of those connected to the government. The police are supposed to protect every citizen and not take sides. In time, they will.

  12. investigation or no investigation, evidence or no evidence, the current government does not have the guts, or maybe interest to arrest anyone for their crimes. Including the pedophiles, murderers, rapists, thieves.... Compared to the past dictatorship I don't see much difference in the way of ruling with the high level of corruption within the government bodies. But of-course there is more freedom, but still shame on the government for what they have achieved in the past year.

  13. Why only druggies arrest, while others breaking national security living apply without any questioning ??? if i go and kick on MNDF gate will it be same as like this ???? JUSTICE FOR ALL MR.PRESIDENT

  14. We regret the fact that we voted to elect this stupid child Mahfool as parliament member to represent us.

  15. Ali Waheed cannot think tht so proudly saying that the police is involved with them is legitimate... it shows he was blatantly trying to undermine the integrity of an elected president. And coerce the "rouge" elements within the police... maybe even by paying them money.... Ali Waheed is an elected parliament members...he shud know better...he shud know what he claims is unconstitutional...and unlawful...

    Guess he by his own admission has put his party in a tight spot...legally...:)

  16. JJ you have a way of leading (misleading)the average readers. One of the worst articles I have read on Minivan. What are you trying to prove. Do your bits and pieces and give the reader some good reading material. Pathetic.........

  17. It is absurd that I find some MDP hooligans comment in this article oblivious on how they reacted in Maumoons Presidency. Did they abide to the law? Did they ever respect to peoples right?

    Every one has the right to protest and express there views. What can't MDP tolerate to it today and why can't the corrupted senior police officers are reluctant to arrest the unruly MDP gang members when they go against the law. Guys stop being biaised, this is tantamount to a day light robbery. And it is insidious that goverment attempts to suppress the opposition DRP above the law.

    I still see that DRP is tolerant and peaceful to the unjust practices of MDP government.

    And its shame that President Nasheed is going against his promises and against what we've voted for him. He appoints immature people to top political posts, he reduced the salary and sack people from government jobs in the name of economic reform, he cannot help to local investors instead he is selling all our heritage to foreign investors. We are still patient and tolerant to all his reckless propaganda.

    And finally, I can only see that people living standard is getting deteriorated day by day. The income and educational disparities is expanding. And are you all saying these things are good for our nation? Show me any single economic model that shows this is all going in the right track?

  18. like a coin having two side to it, every story or event would have two sides to it. Opinion differs, comments can at times be hard to digest or take. Although you guys have set out a standard for Commenting, I do not see the standards being complied with..... I stronly request you to take your "proper" position as an independent media, which at the same time reports credibly and unbiassed. Why are you guys allowing you media to be a platform to launch abuse and defamation of character.... Look at the comments above do you see it or don't you ? Buckle up Minivan.

  19. ok i read the guidelines..so you guys want to be on the safe side..its ok i get it but the rules of news has changed pretty much around the world http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2009/oct/02/dan-gillmor-22-rules-news

  20. Ha haa. Atlast Mr. Zuhair agreed that there is some facts over the suspicious death in custody? It is shame to police service that they could not respond to Mr. Zuahir over the allegations while they responded to Mr. Ali Waheed. Police must be free from political influence if any of us would like the service to be designed to serve the general public.


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