Police officer burned by flaming ball as protests persist

A police officer was hospitalised last night after being struck by a ball set on fire and hurled during night’s protest outside Male’s fish market, where opposition party members have been rallying crowds since January 16 calling for the release of Criminal Court Chief Judge Abdulla Mohamed from military detention.

According to police parts of the officer’s uniform were burnt along with some of the weapons he was carrying at the time. The officer also sustained injuries to his neck, chin and ears.

The officer was immediately taken to ADK hospital, police said. Two other police officers injured during the confrontation have been admitted to hospital as well.

Police said they are currently investigating the attack. No other arrests or injuries were reported.

During the opposition-led protest, which began at approximately 9:00pm last evening, a group of 200 active participants charged police blockades in an effort to enter the off-limits Republic Square. Between 10:30pm and 11:30pm protesters and police advanced and retreated along the jetty near the fish market several times. Various glass objects as well as empty bottles, stones, eggs, young coconuts and flares were thrown by protesters into the police zone, occasionally falling short of their marks and landing among the protesting crowd.

Police retaliated by pushing back the crowd, eventually deploying tear gas and pepper spray.

A woman who was sprayed following a near-hysterical confrontation with police was treated and calmed by a group of protesters on the side lines before rejoining the crowd.

Meanwhile, approximately 200 bystanders observed the commotion from the upper levels of nearby boats and the fish market opposite, some laughing, some shouting, and some simply watching.

Yesterday afternoon, activists and Parliament members from the ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) marched up the island’s central road of  Majeedhee Magu, past the tsunami memorial and down Ameenee Magu to the party camp, calling for all judges to be arrested and for Male’ city “to be calm.” At the party camp activists announced their intention to advance on the protesters that evening at 8:30pm, before dispersing for prayer and dinner.

The previous evening, protest leaders went to the house of Vice President Dr Mohamed Waheed Hassan to request an immediate meeting. The Vice President reportedly welcomed them inside, and at 1:00am opposition leaders emerged pledging allegiance to the Vice President and urging him to assume control of the executive.

The government maintained that it had not lost confidence in the Vice President, discounting his decision to meet with the protesters as a diplomatic courtesy and reaffirmed its faith in his allegiance. During the protest the following evening, however, protesters maintained that the Vice President was on their side.

“He wants the judge free, he has said he shares our interests,” an opposition protester told Minivan News.

Party members from both sides of the political aisle gathered at their respective locales last night. MDP activists reportedly urged an advance on the fish market, however MDP Chairman and MP ‘Reeko’ Moosa Manik instructed those assembled to wait for official party orders, according to sources.

Although the crowd vocally supported an advance, no official decision was made and members of the crowd did not initiate a mass movement.

A protest coordinator and opposition party member meanwhile told Minivan News that a number of protesters were harmed during last night’s protest at the fish market in a clash with the MDP.

“It is the [MDP] activists who are doing and throwing these things,” he claimed. “They are the ones causing all the damage.”

Other protesters acknowledged that gang members are known to be participating in the demonstrations, sometimes after taking drugs or alcohol, however they would not provide further details.

Protests are expected to continue through February 24, the opposition protest coordinator said.


14 thoughts on “Police officer burned by flaming ball as protests persist”

  1. Government supporters just marched? SOme ppl even climbed the gates of Vice President Dr. Waheed. Minivan news is so biased these days! Can't call this bunch of ppl independent

  2. We had the same accusation of flaming ball thrown at police, made against MDP when Gayoom was in power.

  3. Eyy lobivethi Dhivehi ahunney; thiyabaai meehunna halaaku huri!

    See what rowdy rapscallions your harlot women have bred!

    To fix our society, it is crucial that we first fix our women; the vast majority of whom are deficient in morality, intellect and most importantly, modesty.

    And through vitruous wombs, virtuous offspring shall then emerge; obedient and God-fearing! Only then shall our Nation be re-acquainted with prosperity and stability.

  4. Yes Minivan has revealed itself to be a propaganda website for sure.

    Why two of its writers Eleanor Johnstone and JJ Robinson are direct plants from the British Conservative Party.

    I urge the BCP to rethink their current strategy. Other political parties with more popular support can help them achieve their ends with much less than the weak government of Mohamed Nasheed.

  5. Message for all those people on the street tying to bring down the present goverment.I would say just forget about the false dreams they have in thier minds during the day and night.

    Matter of fact is that more people are suppoting the goverment and joining the MDP.
    Mr Buruma,Mr Jabir,Mr Yaamin,Mr.Maumoon,Mr Thasmeen please do understand by yourself do believe in you that majority of Maldivians are against you.You may have few pennies and there few who may run behind it.Those are the hell bent people and very narrow minded people of this country.
    Mr Buruma,Jabir,Yameen,Umar,Maumoon,Hassan and Imran, are you guys really trying hard to be the next president of Madives.To be honest with you it will never happen and please do not get destroyed by yourself.
    Allah will protect us from evils and bring properity to our nation.

  6. HAHA.. I laugh at guys like tsk tsk who still debates on behalf of the corrupt regime.

    You still believe the likes of Umar Naseer and Nihan are working for the rights of as they say the judicial system?

    What of the right that these protesters have taken from the commoners in Malé? The business men whose workflow has been disrupted by these DELIBERATE events? And of the unfortunate people, whose homes have come to a standstill due to this?

    If this is the example you people are willing to take for in the name of Human Rights, then perhaps you guys just need to sit back, and give a long thought on what your original agenda is.

    Are you sure you want to free the judicial system? Or is it that you are actually trying to cover up theft and crimes worth of 30 years?

  7. Eleanor Johnstone a BCP plant? Haha. She's a Harvard Uni student out to get some extra cred as an intern. I doubt she thinks much farther than her travels and academic transcript, ie, I highly doubt that she has an 'agenda'. A true 'plant' would be someone like that ditz Poorna Roderigo of the erstwhile DRP daily.

  8. They'll accept anyone at Harvard these days eh?

    You think studying at Harvard exempts people from politics and ambition. Au contraire my friend - it's exactly the other way around.

    Eleanor has displayed time and time again that she is either forced or willingly an accomplice to candy-coating the current regime.

    The Supreme Court, JSC and certain portions of the Constitution need reform. We are all agreed on that point. However the government has violated the Constitution and international treaties we are party to in attacking the judiciary.

    Can any one of us deny that fact? A balanced writer would not try to detract from the seriousness of that situation while giving disproportionate emphasis to the other.

    This is a propaganda site and while we may argue that almost all media outlets in the world have some sort of agenda, none wear it so obviously on their sleeve as Minivan does.

  9. Tsk tsk, the "Judiciary" that you are so busy defending has been ruled by a corrupt Judge who has very obviously let criminals walk free, and especially those who are affiliated with the Opposition parties. Isn't that a violation of our Constitution?

    And these criminals are terrorizing our streets making it impossible for anyone to live a peaceful life here. So the common civilians in this country basically have no right because of the failure of the Judiciary. Just how Constitutional is that?

    In fact these are much more serious violations of the Constitution as the actions of a corrupt Judge is affecting an entire population's right to freedom of movement in this country, as opposed to the freedom of a corrupt judge! So if you want to talk about the Constitution, you may want to keep in mind there we all have Constitutional rights, and not just that corrupt Judge!

  10. My dear Mariyam,

    You might not like my answer on this one but let me give you my view on your assertions.

    First, our Constitution clearly enshrines the democratic right to be considered innocent until proven guilty. So a Criminal Court judge in essence is not letting criminals go free but refusing to convict suspects. Once acquitted those suspects are considered innocent. If the State wants to pursue further action against the acquitted the State must appeal at the High Court and so on.

    On your second point. Criminals "terrorize" (I feel that word is an exaggeration but this is a subjective matter) our streets because of shortcomings in our criminal justice system. This system is comprised of the Police, Prosecutor General and Courts. In addition to these institutions efforts at reducing crime also includes the Parliament and the Executive as important stakeholders as well as the general public, NGOs and the media. All these persons bear the blame for increasing crime.

    Thirdly, whether the judge is guilty of corruption or not has not been decided by any adjudicating body. The allegations are against him are just allegations and most of them are focused on procedural and conduct-related matters.

    You are pitting the freedom of an individual to be free from arbitrary arrest, personal safety and to fair trial against the freedom of movement of those persons who are not concerned about the military kidnapping and holding hostage of a Maldivian citizen. While I do not support street activism, I believe that the protesters have a point. Allegations or not the judge should be charged and released or just released immediately.

  11. No tsk tsk, I don't think that at all. My mouth is rife with words as is, without your assistance.
    And doesn't it seem a tad ludicrous to suggest that a 23 year old all American girl has some vested interest in Maldivian politics, let alone being a 'plant' of the BCP? Methinks you're way less clued in than you pretend to be.

  12. I hope your spawn gets to attend an Ivy League school one day, it might help with that ridiculous chip on your shoulder.

  13. I was accepted into Harvard University as a youth, though the Ayatu'llah Khomeini himself, may his name ever be praised, forbade me from attending. For he loathed the prospect of my young and impressionable mind being corrupted by the fervent ramblings of the madmen that comprise the American scientific and academic communities, what with their lunatic assertions in favour of feminism, evolutionism, neurologism and countless other debunked ideologies and pseudoscientific cults.

    Instead I was offered the opportunity to attend Tehran University - in exchange for my services in the Basij-e Mostaz'afin during the war against that monstrous apostate, Saddam Hussein, may shaitan spit on his grave! - and the good Ayatullah gifted me with many books from his personal collection during my tenure there, which has greatly facilitated my rise as a great scholar on numerous topics, from science, to religion and war.

    In any case, Elenoar Johnstone attends Middlebury college in the United States, which is where her political ambitions, if any, are vested.

    Not that it is a womans place, mind you.

  14. Nobody really cares what goes down in this country. You take the puppet on the right or the puppet on the left. It doesn't matter. Deep down everyone knows that it's all about consolidating power. you won't get much done either way. I'm not saying anni isn't a good president but where would he be without the forces that back him? ditto for any other candidate. these forces are largely amoral, profit-motivated entities, out of touch with the lives of us commoners.


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