Police summon Umar Naseer, Hassan Saeed for questioning

Police have summoned Umar Naseer, Vice President of Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) and Dr Hassan Saeed, President of Dhivehi Qaumee Party (DQP) for questioning at 9:00am tomorrow morning.

Police have stated that they aim to clarify information regarding an ongoing investigation.

Both men, and their parties, have been at the forefront of vocal and physical protests against the government over the last two weeks.

After alleging that the government is involved in “anti-Islamic conspiracies” and that President Mohamed Nasheed was “a madman elected by mistake” on local broadcaster DhiTV, party members Dr Mohamed Jameel Ahmed and ‘Sandhaanu’ Ahmed Ibrahim Didi were summoned for questioning on January 14 for four consecutive nights, prompting public demonstrations for freedom of expression. Hassan Saeed was their lawyer.

In a 30-page pamphlet released on January 15, DQP accused the government of participating in anti-Islamic conspiracies and associating with Jews and Christian priests.

The President’s Office called the pamphlet “a litany of extremist, bigoted and hate-filled rhetoric aimed primarily at President Nasheed and his administration” which has “[undermined] the religious harmony of the country” by using the constitutionally-granted right to freedom of expression as an excuse to engage in hate speech.

In an effort to garner international support, a DQP delegation flew to Colombo to explain its position to embassies.

On January 14 Criminal Court Chief Judge Abdulla Mohamed was arrested by military forces after attempting to block his own court order and was taken to a training facility on Girifushi, where he is currently being held. The charges against him include obstruction of justice and corrupt professional behavior.

Although Saeed filed the first complaint against Judge Mohamed in 2005, he has been an outspoken participant in the opposition-led protests to free the judge over the past 10 days.

Opposition parties claim that the judge’s detention constitutes a human rights violation; the case has been forwarded to the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Umar Naseer, deputy leader of opposition Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) until he was dismissed, assisted former president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom in forming PPM. The party was registered in late 2011, drawing membership from DRP in high quantities.

Speaking at a PPM rally last evening, Naseer said he was aware that Special Forces had appealed for an order from the High Court to apprehend him. Meanwhile, Gayoom has reportedly left the country.

Speaking at the same event Jumhooree Party (JP) President Gasim Ibrahim told the crowd that the government is bankrupt, citing a growing budget deficit and rumors of unpaid salaries.

Requesting the government to stop using Special Forces to carry out “crimes against the people”, Gassim asked opposition parties to “work together to restore freedom before it’s too late”, local media reports.


9 thoughts on “Police summon Umar Naseer, Hassan Saeed for questioning”

  1. President Nasheed is the living proof that harassment of opposition politicians to try and stifle dissent always ends up with the oppressors loosing.

    The more measures are increased to suppress opposition to the Government by way of police action, the faster governments topple.

    The more governments try to crackdown on freedom of speech the more vocal and fierce opposition becomes.

    MDP's government and President Nasheed will know this more than any others in this country.

    But history proves that, when a 'siege' mentality grips a Leader, he will always, always make the same mistakes that every other dictator had done in the past. No exceptions!

    "Time" will always be on the side of the people and not the masters.

  2. Nasheed's actions are not a shock to a lot of us who knew him.

    He was never really a democrat or someone who truly believed in people power. He was merely the scion of a family which desperately wanted to replace the Qayyoom-led government with a regime of their own.

    They used human rights and democracy as the language of revolt, but while Nasheed, an educated man, knew what he was talking about, a lot of his supporters did not and cared little.

    For a lot of us who knew the MDPs actual plan we saw this coming. Before someone starts hammering at me about the opposition and their irresponsibility, well DUH! they are the opposition after all.

    We have to accept that the whole purpose of having a political opposition is to criticize the government. Meanwhile internal politics within institutions based on political agendas takes place in almost all countries. Why judges, ombudsmen, police officers and janitors worldwide are at times influenced by political interests.

    However having a democratic system means you have to prove it through established procedure. You cannot just blow up one night and hang your opponents.

  3. "well DUH! they are the opposition after all" -

    The point where your pseudo-intellectual sophistry fails.

    "We have to accept that the whole purpose of having a political opposition is to criticize the government"

    Really? You don't see anything wrong with that?

  4. "Gassim asked opposition parties to “work together to restore freedom before it’s too late”, local media reports."

    I wonder what plan he has in mind. That "freedom" of which Mr Gasim so fondly speaks of, can only happen at the ballots. If that "freedom" comes any other way, then there will be a blood bath in this country. That's as clear as day and night.

    So, like most people, I'm not entirely sure about what Gasim is calling for. It sounds like he's calling for a revolution!

  5. The sad truth is that none of the political parties in the opposition actually know what being an "opposition" party really means. While they have the significant responsibility of making the ruling party accountable, the parties in the opposition lack suitable leaders to carry out such a job. People like Umar Naseer and Hassan Saeed are looking to score points in the short run by spreading rumours about the ruling party with deliberate intent to spread violence in the Country, so that they can over throw the Government and take over. This by no means describes the behavior of a responsible and capable opposition party. They forget that there is a significant population in this country that doesn't belong to any party and that believe in their right to vote in the next Government, without being bullied to do so. Wonder which aspect of this behavior is democratic?!How ironic that a man who inflicted such violence on his fellow human beings, while he had the power to do so, is now shouting about "rights" and "democracy" and how sad that there are so many people who can believe him? At least these opposition leaders are able to shout all this nonsense today, that would not have been possible under Gayoom's rule, and at least these opposition leaders are able to walk home on their own after they are released from questioning, whereas before anyone who opposed the government ended up in jail or dead or missing! The fact that these torturers are now shouting for their democratic right, while at the same time infringing about the democratic right of so many citizens is just laughable. No wonder they need this corrupt judge of theirs to be free and back in court, so that they can continue to engage in their "democratic" activities, without fearing any consequences for their actions, as they have been doing all these years.

  6. @peasant:

    When have I ever claimed to be an intellectual.

    If I was asked to define myself I would like to make some negative identifications;

    - I am NOT an idealist.

    - I am NOT an intellectual.

    - I do NOT support President Nasheed and hence my bias.

    Have I ever made that a secret?

    Also, as I have argued before, as long as there is a Ministry of Islamic Affairs and as long as regulating religious practices and beliefs is a part of the government's mandate, the opposition has the right to comment on the government's performance in this regard.

    Government's across the world do not drag opposition members to court over fair comment disputes or for defamation suits. This is a fact.

    Does the opposition perform their function to the best of their capabilities? No, I do not believe so.

    Neither does the Executive for that matter. It is not our judiciary that failed but the commitment of our political class to establishing a democracy in our country.

    What I am merely saying is that if we are to have a dictatorship in this country, then I do not back Nasheed to be its leader. There - said plain and simple.

  7. Umar Naseer should know we are free and watching every move Maumoon Abdul Bloody Gayoom makes.

    Umar Naseer can spit rhetoric, we have and we will shed blood if we have to once again.

    Just a friendly warning


Comments are closed.