Six arrested during MDP protest against prosecution of party supporters

Police arrested six people during the Maldivian Democratic Party’s (MDP) demonstration held on Tuesday evening to protest against ongoing court cases against its supporters.

According to the party, the Prosecutor General (PG) has filed charges against 60 MDP members for obstruction of police duty during the party’s three-month series of protests. If charges are proved, the accused may be jailed for six months or fined up to Rf 12,000 (US$800) each.

The Criminal Court on Tuesday held hearings against 10 people charged with obstruction of police duty during an MDP rally on March 1.

The six arrested on Tuesday were also detained for obstruction of police duty.

The MDP has been campaigning for fresh elections in 2012 after former President Mohamed Nasheed alleged he was deposed in a coup d’état, carried out by mutinous elements of the police and military on February 7.

Speaking to MDP members on Tuesday night, Nasheed said he was “concerned about the arrest and prosecution of protesters exercising their right to freedom of expression and assembly.”

The MDP continues to rally against prosecution of its supporters with a peaceful demonstration held outside the Supreme Court building at 2:00 pm on Wednesday. At time of press MDP supporters were also gathering outside the Justice Building where the country’s lower courts are housed.


Police Spokesperson Hassan Haneef said the six people arrested on Tuesday were detained for obstructing police duty after they broke through police barricades in front of the Maldives Monetary Authority (MMA) building. Five of the six arrested continue to remain in custody.

Haneef also said two police officers had suffered head injuries after protesters threw glass bottles at the officers.

Minivan News observed over a thousand protesters at the MDP rally.

In a statement on Wednesday, the MDP claimed its supporters were pepper-sprayed at close range and beaten with batons on Tuesday night.

Video footage of the protest shows a woman fall to the ground as police officers in riot gear attempt to arrest her.

Court cases

The ten people who appeared in court on Tuesday were arrested during an MDP protest on March 1 which had sought to obstruct new President Mohamed Waheed Hassan from delivering a presidential address at parliament’s opening session on March 1.

According to local media, two policemen gave differing statements on Tuesday’s hearing. One police officer said he had witnessed eight of the 10 men who appeared in court beating police shields, while another policeman said he had only seen five of the ten men beat on police shields during the protest.

The Prosecutor General’s (PG) Office was unable to confirm the exact number of cases filed at court for obstruction of police duty.

However, Deputy PG Hussein Shameem has previously told Minivan News that 116 cases had been filed against demonstrators regarding unrest on February 8. Riots broke out throughout the Maldives following a brutal police crackdown on MDP supporters in Malé. Court buildings and police stations were set on fire and vandalised during the riots.

“We have submitted 116 cases to the criminal court. The charges we have filed regard obstruction of police duty, assault on police officers on duty, and attempt to assault police officers on duty,” Shameem said.

Freedom of assembly

Speaking to MDP supporters, Nasheed said he condemned the charges against “peaceful” protesters while police and military officers who carried out the “coup” continued to remain free.

“Maldivian citizens cannot accept the prosecution of protesters who raised their voices against treasonous police and military, when we continue to see these officers in front of us,” Nasheed said.

“It is essential that we come out in support of those who are being tried. We gain success only when we find courage in each other to overcome fear. It will be difficult to carry out civil disobedience if we neglect those who are arrested from amongst us,” Nasheed added.

Police have also forwarded two different cases against Nasheed over the discovery of alcohol bottles at his former residence Muleeage on February 7 and the controversial arrest of Criminal Court Chief Judge Abdulla Mohamed in January.

Video footage of MDP rally on May 8:


23 thoughts on “Six arrested during MDP protest against prosecution of party supporters”

  1. Now taste what we had experienced during the 3 years of our previous autocratic leader. The so called "Nelson Mandela" or "Bodu Hulhu" leader had used more tear gas and pepper spray than the whole 30 years of Maumoon. Prosecute all those arsonist who set fire to the Government offices on 08th February.

  2. i dont trust any report from this zaheena rasheed. she is a paid MDP activist who work in the party's information (propagenda) wing.

  3. 6 arrests from a thousand strong crowd of unruly protesters? Good job police.

  4. Check it out....skip to 0:47 sec of the video and you will see the dark blue uniformed officer come from behind and (discretely) kick the protesting lady on the ground....also if you look on you will see the photographer wearing the fluorescent green t-shirt automatically grab the officers arm upon seeing the events unfold...very shameful...

  5. The comments above come from the usual cluster of sponsored MDP haters. This is how you earn your money.

  6. The brutal inflexible dictatorship is back for good.
    now we are not aloud to vote, or even peacefully protest. We have gone back to the dark ages!!!

  7. The only violence from the police and army against the public have come from this brutal regime. Does the rest of the world even care???

  8. Look if they go chopping up everyone and terrorizing the whole world inclduing Maldives of course there have to be a crackdown on them. If they behave more civilize such things would not happen to these mdp scum.

  9. Spokesperson Hassan Haneef please explain what exactly is obstruction of justice? Not following orders of a coup leader and police and defence officials who have so obviously taken bribes to overthrow a legitimate government? If the government can be overthrown on the streets by a group of hooligans and mafia leaders, well then these people have set an example for others to come and do the same and that is exactly what is so dangerous about military coups. So please don't complain about anyone not following orders, its laughable really. And the video clearly shows how desperate the police are to make arrests, how "brave" soldiers in riot gear attack one single person, about four to five of them attacking one woman and we see an officer using pepper spray just because it's in his pocket. These actions show over and over again the the coup government is taking such desperate measures because they know they are losing it and it gives us more determination than ever to fight for our right to vote!

  10. We all knew that sooner or later this -violence had to come.

    The real aim of the present hijacked “MDP” is to cause as much havoc and destruction as is possible. They started with arson and wanton destruction on the 8th. On the one hand this did not see huge sections of the population come out in support of the MDP arsonists & property destructors and on the other hand the international community clearly let it be known this was not acceptable.

    To make things worse for hjked "MDP", President Waheed responded with admirable maturity & foresight thus exposing the true plight of the real MDP where a Gang of political thugs had in effect hijacked the party with its once high morals and high goals set by its elite founding fathers.

    With every calm day in the capital with its citizens going about their day to day business & President Waheed calmly coming to grips with the results of amateurish handling of the Govt during the last 3 years, the ex-President and his cabal’s relevancy was coming into question. Furthermore with each passing day, with each fresh audit new skeletons in MDP’s 3 years closet is coming out. Something had to be done and fast to stop the exposure.

    This was done by the ex-President & his thuggish Cabal first getting rid of the up and coming young brains & blood of the MDP as represented by the elected President and Vice President of the Party. Probably it was their posts that had put the brakes on the road to violence earlier on. Now that their sobering influence, with their insistent advice to reform the party and get ready for the fast approaching elections and calls for dialogue and negotiations with the rest of the Political parties has been got rid of by the Thuggish elements of MDP. Now the road is open to let loose the violence, and there is no real opposition to the ex-President at the parties Presidential primaries.

    It’s most cynical that the ex-President 1st gets rid of the elected President and Vice President of the party who clearly had aspirations to run in the party’s presidential primaries before he kick starts his own campaign. So he prepares for an election that on paper he rejects as too far off and gets rid of realist opposition in his President and vice Presidents in the primaries.

    Its predictable that untold scenes of violence and wanton destruction lies ahead, with a rabid clique of Political thugs hijacking the once elegant MDP. This is a national emergency if ever there was one, and the only means of avoiding the blood shed is for all the political parties to wake up to their civic responsibilities to mobilise the public by educating the public as to what is going on.

    Up until now President Waheed has done an excellent job. He should realise that the answer to the problem does not lie in denying the rights to assembly and protest of the MDP hijacked by the cabal. Rather every facility to exercise their civic rights as per the constitution should be made available to them, encouraged and the freedom of the Press guaranteed so as to report the truth.

    In this exercise the Political parties has got to wake up and be mobilised and information imparted to the public “byte” for “byte”, loud speaker for loud speaker. Last but not least let President Waheed keep the Diplomatic corps brought up to date and seek and benefit from their experience. India and Sri Lanka, especially India with its vast democratic experience and time proved democratic institutions would have lot of good advice for a fledgling democracy such as ours.

    The ex-President’s Cabal is flush with foreign currency and advised by masters of deception. The only way forward, only hope of survival is to ensure everything is in the open and well within the framework of the Constitution. Give them all the rope they need to hang themselves without the rest of Maldives taking any part in the process.

    The Police need to be extra – vigilant, enforcing the law to its letter, and let the courts exercise its independence without fear or favour. The Press is indispensable to be there to report it, without any coercion and hindrance .

    Play the Game according to the rules and take comfort in the fact that those 3 years has shown Prince Nasheed is a fraud and in just these 3 years he showed us the despot that he truly is by more than anything else taking the law into his own hands.

    Let Maldives show all future despots that Maldives does not tolerate any more despots and more than anything tyrants that forget the people who elect them.

    Long live Freedom! And Long live the rule of law!

  11. @ Mikaaloa
    You are either a complete liar or totally evil. We suspect both. Nasheed has NEVER used tear gas and blocked the right to express, despite all the torture and suffering that you did to him and the thousands of innocent people in this country.

    You clearly print your evil lies and fabrications here to fuel your evil propaganda.

    MV, please stop publishing the blatant lies and and untruths, it misleads the watching world which is exactly what they want.

  12. @Backward and bigoted your name says it all.........

    Nasheed did use tear gas,paper spray and force to stop the opposition protesters during his regime. i am not defending the current gov, the current gov should allow MDP members express their selves.

    this is the problems with Maldivians all of us see and believe one side(the side we are on)of the story, this goes to both MDP & Ithihaad supporters.

    Ahmed-"The comments above come from the usual cluster of sponsored MDP haters. This is how you earn your money."

    how do you know they are being paid, they might genuinely not like MDP just like you hate current gov. don't accuse others of being corrupt, ignorant& Irreligious just because they don't support your view. MDP prides it self in supporting freedom of expression. so let them express their selves, and you express your selves without accusing each other of being corrupt, ignorant& Irreligious.


    Police use tear gas and pepper spray to disperse protestors gathered at the junction between Majeedee Magu and Chaandhanee Magu, during the early hours of May 3, 2011

  14. Carry on fighting amongst yourselves, show the world what a backward and corrupt country you are. Over tax the tourist on top of the already unrealistically high charges made by resorts coupled with the inferior service and you won’t have to worry about the tourists anymore – we won’t be going to the Maldives! Who wants to pay 5 and 6 star prices for 3 star resorts and service? There are plenty of holiday destinations in the world that give true 5 star facilities and service.

  15. @ Aobilz
    ...believe me when I say we know exactly what is going on and that they are sponsored and by whom!

    MV is the only real news from the Maldives and the only independent news source to reach the outside world so they contaminate every article to mislead the influential readership. Now I think it must be clear to them too? One hope so!

  16. @ Ahmad
    You live up to your name. When the constitution is written by people with criminal pasts and the judicial system is totally hand picked by Gayoom and corrupt, it some what invalidates your lecture....Pity.

  17. @ Ahmed

    Well unlike most of the Maldivians for me to believe in something i need proof, evidence & facts. if you want me to believe what you are saying show me the proof of your accusations.

  18. Mohamed Nasheed is suffering from antisocial personality disorder
    Antisocial personality disorder is a mental health condition in which a person has a long-term pattern of manipulating, exploiting, or violating the rights of others. This behaviour is often criminal.

    A person with antisocial personality disorder may:

    Be able to act witty and charming

    Be good at flattery and manipulating other people’s emotions

    Break the law repeatedly

    Disregard the safety of self and others

    Have problems with substance abuse

    Lie, steal, and fight often

    Not show guilt or remorse

    Often be angry or arrogant

  19. @Aobilz
    Proof and evidence for the corrupt regime to be satisfied....not only are you liar but a comedian too!!
    Any time you want to meet me one and one is fine with me my friend, got all the proof and evidence!!!

  20. @ ahmed

    when have I stated im satisfied with the current gov, again saying baseless things about people doesnt make it true, as for the evidence please send them to Minivan, why not let "everyone" know, prove it to everyone that those commentors are sponsored, and getting paid for their anti MDP comments.

  21. @ ahmed

    Anni had the opportunity to prove maumoon and his administrations corruption, which I believe is true.Maumoon was corrup, but anni failed to prove it.

  22. backward, what did nasheed used during his 3 years in power . Was that perfumes that were sprayed to disperse the crowd.

    What did he sprayed with water using water canon in front of STELCO ? I guess that was distributing milk to community to feed the children.

    MDP thugs believe that Maldivians are only the member of MDP and rest of the people are BAAGHEE.

    When MDP regime was in power , they have proven this and dictator Nasheed was openly saying that this who does not agree with his opinion will be treated badly and will show his cowardness ? There are number of occasion where regime has told the public openly these kind of words and we were there .

    I do not support what happened on 7th either but we need to understand that that incident had for some reason and that is what we need to find out and the truth.

    I do not believe Nasheed words or Maumoon either. Both of them were equally bad and both are dictators and Anni was even much worse than Maumoon and both had robbed this country.

  23. Those who equate Nasheed with Gayoom clearly don't see the difference between someone who puts national interest before self interest. Or who respects human rights and who disregards them. Who do you think is more lined up with their own conscience? Don't insult Nasheed (or all those dead Maldivian children, for they are children who were murdered during Gayoom's time) by equating him with that banana republican/Mugabe follower. There was a time when the nation counted. Nasheed did much to help Maldivians regain their unique national identity and history - we had much to be proud about till Gayoom and his cronies came along to dismantle it all for little more than personal gain over 30 years ago, just when the tourism dollars were beginning to flow in. In just over 3 years more was done for our country than in the past 30. You just had to open your eyes to see it. See for yourself not just listen to others or watch TV.History will prove this (unless Gayoom manages to fiddle with the history books again, as he did re the Nasir era). But now we have the internet and the fiddling is there for those who question. Propaganda is all this regime cares about(other than being a brutal dictatorship and fleecing our country ie robbing) . These thugs (for these are the thugs who are parading in suits) may try and outlaw and marginalise MDP, pay silly money to PR firms to improve their image overseas etc, but they cannot hide from the truth of their actions. Sooner or later the truth will come out. What goes round does come round. Lets hope some of us are around to see it.And even if we aren't, it doesn't really matter does it.It will happen. History tells us it will. And history will outlive us all, as it always has.Line up with your own conscience. That is all that counts.


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