Police on defense over DhiFM coverage of Muleeage mob

Police have denied asking DhiFM to cease broadcasting live coverage of a protest that took place outside the president’s official residence on Thursday night, instead claiming officers requested the station stop airing interviews featuring people calling for the government to be toppled.

A large mob of protesters marched on Muleeage just before midnight, after rumours of a police death in custody circulated around a DRP rally being held at the artificial beach.

“People were already angry about the civil servant salary issue,” said DRP MP Ali Waheed, who joined the protest outside the president’s gate and was later hospitalised after he was hit in the head by a stone.

“This was not a planned protest,” he emphasised. “DRP MPs (including Ahmed Nihan and Ahmed Mahlouf) joined the protest on the way to the president’s residence because we feel very strongly about the issue.”

Police eventually dispersed the crowd using tear gas. Three people were arrested but were later released.

“We don’t care who was leading it or what the point was,” said Inspector Ahmed Shiyam, adding that despite the large number of people clamouring at the gates of Muleeage “at no time was security threatened. Police were backed up by the MNDF and very senior police [were in command].”

Several police were injured, he added, including one who was hit in the face by an object thrown from the crowd.

Shiyam explained that during the incident officers approached DhiFM and asked them to stop airing live interviews with people calling for others to join the protest and overthrow the government through violence.

“We sent officers to tell them, ‘please don’t do that’,” Shiyam said. “They misunderstood, and I called a senior member of DhiFM and managed to convince him.”

DhiFM CEO Maassoodh Hilmy said plain clothes police arrived at the studio at 1:51 on Friday morning, showed their idenification and demanded the station cease broadcasting.

“I said we were not stopping,” he said. “We had two reporters at Muleeage and they were calling out [what they were seeing].”

Shiyam said today that police had sent a letter of complaint alleging that DhiFM had overstepped its status as an observer by broadcasting “calls for violence”.

“That statement from police is not good. They are lying, which is very wrong,” said Hilmy.

The Maldives Journalist Association (MJA) today issued a statement strongly condemning the police attempt to “shut down [DhiFM’s] transmission while it was carrying out the live coverage of the protest,” calling it “a flagrant violation of the independence of the media and the freedoms ascribed in the Constitution.”

“We note that police also forced other media personnel to stop covering the incident and leave the scene, which can only mean that this is a deliberate attempt by the government to influence media content and subsequently, public perception,” the MJA said, expressing further concern about the police comments regarding DhiFM’s conduct, “which seem to imply that DhiFM’s live coverage could amount to inciting more people to violence and that DhiFM carrying out its duty as a media could pose a national security risk.”

“We condemn such attacks on democracy and Constitutional freedoms and call on all authorities not to engage in such appalling action in the future.”


Independent MP and former Information Minister Mohamed Nasheed said neither police nor defence personnel were allowed to walk into a station and ask it to stop broadcasting.

“They were asked to either put the request in writing or say it live on radio. They refused and returned to the police station,” Nasheed said.

“The next day they sent a document with a police letterhead that was not signed [by the relevant authority], claiming that DhiFM took part in an unlawful gathering calling for the removal of the existing government – this is very strong language from the police.”

Nasheed said Maldives’ broadcasting legislation contained details for disciplinary action but was intentionally designed to include hurdles to make it difficult for the government to close a station.

“Broadcast licences are issued for a year and come with 100 points for every six months, much like a driving licence,” he explained.

“[In the event of a complaint] an independent content committee appointed by the information ministry will act like jury – if the majority agree a maximum of 10 points can be deducated for an offence, and to terminate a broadcast licence the committee must be unanimous.

“Only then can the information ministry ask police or defence to enforce the order on behalf of the committee.”

Nasheed noted that police appeared to be “now varying their story” by stating that their request was regarding certain interviews rather than the live broadcast itself.


Police “strong denied” the rumour of a death in custody that triggered the protest, Shiyam said, identifying the subject as 32 year-old Mohamed Nooz of Gdh Thinadhoo.

Nooz was taken into police custody on Jan 15, Shiyam said, but was sent to hospital after he complained of “medical problems”.

“His family was informed and on the 26 Jan police heard his condition had become serious and that he had died that evening.”

Shiyam noted that no family members had filed a complaint about Nooz’s treatment by police, and that one family member had expressed concern that his death would “be used for political gain.”

Waheed said today that the DRP would be supporting an investigation into the matter after “the person who cleaned the body said he smelled something fishy about the case,” and expressed concern about what he claimed was police unwillingness to conduct an official autopsy. That person had gone to HRCM to make a complaint, he said. Waheed also noted the victim’s age as 24, differing from the police account.

He stressed he “was not saying people were killed in custody”, and added that the DRP “will never try to overthrow a legal government.”

“DRP MPs will only join reasonable protests,” he said, adding that he was not sure if similar incidents would occur.

“I wouldn’t know, that’s for the public to decide,” he said. “People are suffering from the reduced civil servant salaries and increased electricity prices, while President Nasheed is trying to take the tension out of these issues by focusing on global warming and the economic crisis.”


17 thoughts on “Police on defense over DhiFM coverage of Muleeage mob”

  1. Where is the Police Integrity Commission in all of this? And what disciplinary action is DRP taking against its parliamentary group members who led the DRP protest to camp outside the President's residence in contravention to the law of the country? We saw very strong action against Alhan Fahumy when he went against the party in a vote in Majlis - it would be interesting to see the party's stand on this issue.

  2. When Kutti Nasheed was in the previous government what he thought was the opposite. What he did was the opposite. He threatened the same station DhiFM several times. I can never trust these power hungry two faced corrupt politicians!

  3. in my point of view that the DRP active as opposition party, we cannot restore democratic system in the Maldives, Because they only want destabilize the country,There is no money in the treasury after 30 years of rule.......How can the president run the country? i think we the maldivian people need not to protest, to talk nice way...not like DRP

  4. Kutti nasheed, where are you guys when gang brutality and killing occurs in this little country and which is still widespread ? You people in no way condemns those barbaric acts , haven’t seen any of you lawyers more likely to be described as prostitutes ( take money from the clients and will sleep with anybody ) giving a statement against any gang in male for their aggression and killings, are you guys terrified of these hooligans ? or you Mps are not bothered about violence and killing ? you guys created these gangs in this peaceful country … yes kutti nasheed with his large mouth comes criticizing the administration and the police cause he’s certain that they will by no means get vengeance like previous governments , where’s the bill on gangs and violence?, criticizing everything is not politics and it’s neither leadership this actually chaos , keep in mind !! A qaraaru is sufficient for us to live in peace, may Allah bless our country..

  5. I guess these MDP morons dont have the digestive system inside their body.

    Can you remember the night you morons gathered around Theemuge?

    Karuna gas akun, miruhu kudi akun democracy gudu vaeh nuleveyne vidhaalhuvi beyfulhaa Mulee-aage dhoshah meehun evveleema, mirugu kudi aa karuna gas adhi nuvithaakan military neregen democracy eh noodhoa guduvaalan miulhunee.

  6. Maintaining law and order is essential if a country is not to become a failed state. Why don't law enforcement agencies carry out their mandates as prescribed in the constitution? And why are we allowing thugs in the guise of MPs and party leaders get away with everything in this country in the name of democracy? This is rediculous!

  7. These days anybody can get away with any crime - you just need a collaboration with the like minded people and simply say that you are out to protect democracy and free speech. Once you put the journalist tag nobody shall even dare touch you. Convicted criminals have more rights than the victims. When a bunch of people gather in front of the president's house and attempt to break in, should the security personnel still stay asleep? And is it wrong to ask to bring a stop to the live interviews of people calling to gather there for violence and to throw away a legally elected government?
    MJA should first of all try to earn respect from the public by trying to enhance professionalism among its members - given the obvious political affiliations of these people, I shall only believe whatever they say afterward.

  8. If people were to stop and really think about it, they would see that DRP is using the civil service salary issue and the death rumor in prison, for their political gains only! They are not concerned about anyone's rights! If they were, they would have the sense to question what just anyone says as "smelling something fishy"! If everyone were to start jumping around and behaving like hooligans everytime someone says "I smell something fishy" well, they are not promoting democracy,they are mocking it! And talking about the rights of civil servants, well the entire population of this country does not consist of the civil service or their families! There is a significant proportion of people who are not part of the civil service and who are also suffering in these times of economic hardship and the state of the country today! So please what about the rights of these people? Is DRP calling for an increase in the wages of civil servants at the expense of the rest of the population?! Civil servants also need to face reality that all these years they have enjoyed stable incomes and job security, when in reality such little has been done to actually provide any service to the people of this country. While undoubtedly there are very genuine and hard working civil servants, most of them just don't care about the people they are serving! For most, a civil service job is like a status statement! Well times are changing, its time to face reality that being a civil servant means, providing real service to the people who are making it possible for them to earn their wages! ie, the people of Maldives! If a cut in civil service wages is going to improve the economy of this country and ultimately benefit everyone, there is no justification for anyone to demonstrate over it or make it a political issue!

  9. Mr. Nasheed has clearly demonstrated that he has failed as a leader to keep his promises to the people. Let alone those who did not vote for him, even to those who did vote and sacrificed for him and the MDP. MDP is now demonizing the public. Electricity prices have trippled, Water is to be raised, several thousand people have been kicked out of their jobs and consequently their livelihood. What is Mr. Fili Waheed and President Nasheed doing. You have made MDP (the Maldivian Demon's Party). Your witch hunt policy is doomed to fail. You have lost track of the fundermentals. You should be sueing Mr. Gayoom, for all the attrocities and not us. Instead you are sue(as in dhivehi)ing us. We have been the victims of then and are the victims of now. Clearly we made a mistake.
    I can now very boldly say to the Malddivan people, that Mr. Kolige Umar Maniku said the right thing when he was told about Mr. Mahmood.... I dont have to say it here you all know the story.
    Look Mr. Nasheed, you have done more injury and harm to the Maldivian public than Mr. Gayoom did in this last 4 years in Office. What should happen??
    We are hungry, we have more helpless people in Maldives now than before, your are inviting Fili Waheeds Friends from Afganistan to have peace talks in Maldives !! Alas, this is the least of what we expected.

    Nasheed will leave you a msg on some other forum.

  10. You call them mob.What do you call to those gathered at Majlis during decentralization bill,reformists?! Minivan independent news! Shame on you

  11. Ali Waheed and them tried the break into Muleaage. What were they going to do if they broke down the gates? Kill the President? DRP is becoming an extreme, dangerous and violent party.

  12. DRPs always sounds power crazy. Can Thasmeen controll this DRP madness taught by the Zaeem? Cos I sincerely believe that Thasmeen does not favor the theatrics of Waheed, Nihan and the gang.

  13. The Maldives Journalist Association (MJA) should condemn the DhiFM's] transmission for broadcasting and advocating anti-constitutional speeches, behaviors to over-throw constitutionally elected legitimate President. Freedom expressions and gathering should be within the limits of the Constitution.

    MJA should be mature enough to be objective and bias free.

    The police and defence personnel are also empowered by the Constitution to defend the Constitution and protect the Commander in Chief, the Head of State and the Government. They even can ask or walk into a station and ask to stop broadcasting, if they feel the national security threat or breach the high security zones.

  14. The Problem is - the Government is weak.

    1. In the name of 'opposition' a number of people were breaking laws, holding a demonstration at an area prohibited under law. But the government is too afraid to take any action.

    2. Prominent public figures, including MPs from DRP were evidently in violation of law. Government is too chicken to take any action.

    When the government fails to make people accountable, when they break laws, it will result in lawlessness. There is no point in having a government, an administration. It is not Hithiri, its just being weak.

  15. fuh i total agree with u. Mr kutti Nasheed thinks he is the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of maldives.

  16. Kutti Nasheed is a terfpoo! a real joke!
    Who is not violating the law? Law itself is made to violate itself by this very type of Kutti within the parliament.

    These Kuttis and petty parliamentarians (who in fact are racing for presidency and next term) will harp and the cacophony will go on until next election.

    This is the will and way of "The Politician" who do not know who a politician is!

    Sweepers, cleaners, oddjobman, embezzlers (with no educational background or any such thing at all except a loud mouth) one day; Next day is all politics and parliamentary next day!

    Agree! a sweeper, cleaner, oddjobman all can become politician or parliamentarian and it is his own right. But with nothing constructive, being there, babbling and hoodwinking will not be sufficient to be eligible for praise and such politician or parliamentarian must resign without making fun of people.

    Politics, Parliamentary affairs, Rights are all joke in the Maldives today! Believe it or not!


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