President Dr Mohamed Waheed Hassan has formed a “Commission of National Inquiry” to investigate the events that unfolded in the Maldives during the period from 14 January to 8 February.
The inquiry was created by presidential decree as per the article 223 clause (d) of the constitution.
The President’s Office stated that the commission was established to make “an independent impartial investigation” into the change of power and surrounding protests.
President Waheed nominated three members to the commission: former minister of defence and national security during President Maumoon Abdul Gayyoom’s administration Ismail Shafeeu, Gayoom’s former minister of tourism and the first president of the Human Rights Commission of the Maldives (HRCM) Ahmed Mujuthaba, and Dr Ibrahim Yasir.
Shafeeu was nominated to chair the commission. Mujuthaba is also chairing the cross-party talks concerning Dr Waheed’s “Roadmap for a Possible Way Forward”, which the MDP has boycotted due to the involvement of un-elected parties without a democratic mandate.
President Waheed has also requested Prosecutor General Ahmed Muizz oversee the legality of the inquiries and investigations as per the article 223 (d) of the constitution.
The commission has been given the mandate to compile a full report on the outcome of the investigation and submit it the President, the Prosecutor General and the Attorney General – Gayoom’s former lawyer, Azima Shukoor.
Dr Waheed’s Press Secretary Musood Imad was not responding to calls at time of press.
Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) spokesperson for International Affairs, MP Hamid Abdul Ghafoor, questioned the impartiality of the commission.
“How can [the government] carry out an impartial investigation, when they themselves were involved in the actions during that time period?” he asked.
“This is exactly the same type of commission that was formed during Gayoom’s regime to look into the events that unfolded in Maafushi Jail in 2003, including the custodial death of Evan Naseem,” Ghafoor said.
“Look what happened to the report they published then – people questioned it, and part of it was censored. We are calling for a third party consisting of international experts to come and into look into the matter. We absolutely do not believe that this commission will be impartial in investigating the matter.”
The legality and legitimacy of the transfer of presidential power in the Maldives should be determined by the independent impartial investigation, and the make-up and mandate of the investigation must to be agreeable to all responsible political parties, the MDP has said, acknowledging the European Union (EU)’s statement on the current situation of Maldives.
The investigation “must include international experts and should deliver accountability for all human rights violations,” MDP’s statement read.
Police and protesters attack the military base on February 7:
Police, MNDF and opposition protesters break into the state broadcaster on February 7:
A police crackdown on MDP demonstrators and supporters followed on February 8: