Senior UK politicians to be quizzed over Scottish Police College’s training of Maldives officers

Senior UK government figures including Foreign Secretary William Hague are to be quizzed by politicians over the role of a Scottish police college in training Maldivian officers accused of perpetrating human rights abuses in the country.

Following an investigation carried out by UK-based newspaper The Guardian, politicians at Westminster and the Scottish Parliament of Holyrood are to press government ministers on the Scottish Police College’s role in training Maldivian officers.

The Guardian has reported that the MPS stands accused of using “torture and sexual assault against detainees and acting against democracy activists and journalists” after the controversial transfer of power that occurred on February 7 this year.

Police authorities in the Maldives have played down the abuse allegations raised by a number of NGOs such as Amnesty International, questioning possible bias in the data gathered in their reports. The MPS has also said that the allegations of abuse did not reflect the international scope of training provided to officers in the country.

The UK-based newspaper’s investigation reported that at least 77 senior Maldives police officers and commanders – including the Commissioner of Police Abdulla Riyaz – had been trained by the Scottish Police College, located in Fife.

Amnesty International, former senior Maldives officials and opposition activists said they had deep concerns about the UK’s links with the MPS after officers were accused of breaching human rights, the Guardian reported.

The Scottish Police College, which is reportedly earning significant sums of money through working with MPS officers, has an ongoing contract to train Maldives police officers on a diploma course for junior ranks and middle and senior rank officers.

Speaking to the Guardian, the MPS said that it took its obligations seriously, and that reforms recommended by British advisers, as well as consultants from Canada and Australia, were being implemented by the MPS.

MPS spokesman Superintendent Abdul Mannan told the Guardian: “On one hand calling for MPS to be more efficient in dealing with officers’ misconduct and violation of human rights, and on the other calling to suspend all the assistance MPS receives to achieve this, contradicts their [critics] known intention and their actions.”

Commissioner of Police Abdulla Riyaz was not responding to calls from Minivan News at the time of press.

Police Spokesman Hassan Haneef told Minivan News today that there was no link between the training local police officers received in Scotland and the allegations of abuses carried out by some of its officers.

“Our training is in accordance to regulation supplied from other countries all over the world, including the UK, Canada and Australia,” said Haneef.

The UK Foreign Office has meanwhile defended the UK’s record in the Maldives, but spoke of concern over the surge in violence since the ousting of Nasheed in February.

“We have serious concerns about allegations of police brutality in Maldives, especially in February 2012,” a Foreign Office spokeswoman told the Guardian.

“We have privately and publicly urged the Maldivian government to fully investigate all allegations and ensure perpetrators are brought to justice. We have also called on all parties to ensure institutional reforms are put in place to consolidate democracy and further protect human rights in Maldives.

Farah Faizal, the former Maldives high commissioner to the UK, told the Guardian that close links between British police and the MPS had to be urgently reviewed.

“What I can categorically say is that [the training] doesn’t appear to be working,” she told the paper. “If you see the brutality which is going on in Maldives and the impunity with what’s happening, if these people are being trained by the Scottish police, it’s a waste of taxpayers’ money. It’s unacceptable.”

In November a three-man delegation from the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) expressed concern over the failure to punish the police officers who used “excessive force” against MPs earlier this year.

Philippine Senator Francis Pangilinan from IPU’s Committee on Human Rights of Parliamentarians, speaking to members of the press, revealed: “The delegation is deeply concerned that the police officers who used excessive force against the members of parliament earlier this year have not yet been punished, and that Members of Parliament appear to remain subject to intimidation.

“The delegation points out that in several of the cases in the use of excessive police force, there is clear video evidence available which should have enabled the authorities to take effective and swift action. The delegation therefore calls on authorities to do everything possible to expedite their efforts to a successful conclusion,” Pangilinan said.

A Spokesperson from Scottish Police College at Fife told Minivan News that it would not be reviewing its training procedures, but would be taking guidance from the High Commission on whether its existing agreement with the MPS would continue.

“We are continuing conversations with the High Commission on the matter,” the spokesperson said.


17 thoughts on “Senior UK politicians to be quizzed over Scottish Police College’s training of Maldives officers”

  1. MPS's officers training may be in accordance with that provided to police officers in Canada, Australia and the UK, but their practice as evidenced by their on-street behaviour is decidedly criminal

  2. So the Scottish trained that the Maldives Police to overthrow the President.

    Damn the rebellious Scottish.

  3. LOL!

    This report is just plain funny. Yet I applaud Farah et. al. and Nasheed's backers for their tireless efforts.

    Sad though that every opposition party in this country acts like a pack of rebel insurgents.

    Wonder if the Republican Party would ever pressure Saudi Arabia to break off all contracts with the US just because they are in the opposition. Sigh!

  4. @tsk tsk

    Now there's a good idea. Oil's destroying the world at the ecological, humanitarian, social and economic level.

    We need to leave that black death behind.

  5. Farahanaz faisal is delusional. Ever since Anni lost power, its like she has been trying her best to tarnish the reputation of the whole nation of Maldives everywhere. First trying to get UK tourists to boycott Maldives, and now trying to accumulate media attention by raving about police brutality. Does she even know the meaning of the word ?

    This person is a nuisance to the whole Maldivian nation. If i had any qualms with my country, or my country's resorts, then i would first try to talk to designated persons in relevant govt ministries or independent inquiry commissions and try to bring a beneficial change. This loco woman go's straight to CNN or the UK parliament. And the funny thing is, CNN even listens to a raving lunatic like her. So Anni lost his power, but all is not lost for MDP. If MDP can rally the masses of Maldivians then possibly they can win the upcoming elections, but the actions of lunatics such as Farahanaz Faisal only serve to turn public resentment against her and the party she represents. How can the Maldivian people rally behind MDP, when you have idiotic people like her going around the world giving interview "Maldives is full of terrorists, tourists should boycott Maldives, the police will brutally arrest you for no reason". Moron. Doesnt she realize that half the people she's labelling as terrorists and brutalists are her own countrymen, and she doesnt know squat about this torture or anything, she's merely cooking up brews of various rumours she's heard. The source of her remarks must be some drug addict in jail.

  6. What is good with Canadian police, they killed innocent guy who cannot speak English just arrived to Vancouver with a teaser , In Montreal these police attack peaceful protesters.

  7. Police training institutes in UK or elsewhere get their funding from providing specific trainings to third world country police officers where law and order is something which they can bend or break on Command.Moreover, Police training institutes don't care about what the trainees do on their home countries, once they have completed their training programs at their institutes.

  8. You can see reality through tinted glass...see the military coup in the Maldives. India recognized it first, then USA. Money has strength and it shows when it should...Democracy is only for the strong not for the weak or helpless...The Commonwealth of Nations had ignored the criterion set for the CONI whose report was devoid of any of its recommendations. Why?

  9. @Geronimoooo...suck it up sister! When real professionals like Dr. Farah speak, people listen up and take notice! Whats the matter? Bitter that the other states do not give their acknowledgement to your coup regime authorities? hehehehehe....I heard that mad people like Azima Takoor are the laughing stock at CMAG! hehehehe...digest! digest!

  10. this proves that that even in a well matured democracy , there is some responsibility entrusted to people to exercise the democracy.

    Even in UK or US, democracy does not mean that a person to do anything without any foundry and people are to respect the constitution and for some crimes even Capital punishment are given in US.

    Different forms of interrogation techniques are used and many parts of the world and think about the necessary force use by UK police to disperse the student crow just few years back.

    Think about the methods adapted by US in some of the US jails ?

  11. @Poppat

    Farah F a real professional? Man, she changes her hair color more than Britany Spears. Not exactly a representation of Dhivehi culture, is it.

  12. Maldive Police can receive training, even from angels.
    Yet they serve only one thing! Money!
    And they know only one thing! Brutality!
    A total disgrace to the nation as well as to the very name POLICE!

  13. I think this is a very serious issue.

    First of all, the UK authorities have every right to help and assist the Maldives in improving its policing capacities. Its something akin to the US helping Afghanistan, France helping countries in North Africa despite the abuses. Its not a zero-sum game.

    I think Dr. Farahanaz is missing the whole point about capacity-building. Of course our Police need major improvements, but by far its largely progressional compared to a lot of other countries in similar situations. The article above reflects comments from the Scottish Police College giving similar remarks. How do you improve the force? Train them to better.

    Its such a shame that people like Dr. Farahanaz fail to understand that state-to-state relations does not revolve around individuals, like Mr. Nasheed or Dr. Farahanaz. With a background in international relations, I would have imagined that she would understand why her efforts at CMAG failed, why UK normalized relations, and why there hasn't been any serious external threat to the current Maldivian administration.

    I just feel sad because of her stupidity and her abhorrent vilification of the Maldives and the Maldivian people. I consider it very 'fenvarudhah'.

  14. @Blond to Brunette....hehehe...I see your ignorance goes a long way. What exactly does her hair have anything to do with what she is capable of doing? hehehe..I see many Maldivians changing there buruga everyday. Does that give them the ability to speak on international news and at foreign parliaments? Azima and Dhoonya change there dhiguhedhun everytime they go abroad...yet why is it not surprising that no one listens to them? kekekekekek..


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