Maldivian Democratic Party MP Alhan Fahmy has been flown to Sri Lanka for surgery after being stabbed yesterday evening.
The Feydhoo constituency MP’s brother Azbaan, has told Minivan News Alhan’s condition is “very serious” – he had been in surgery for over three hours as of 4pm today (February 2).
“I think it is an organised political attack, because Alhan doesn’t have any other issues,” said Azbaan. “Somebody is politically unhappy with him, otherwise there is no other reason.”
He noted, however, that his brother had received no intelligence from police of an impending attack prior to yesterday’s incident.
Azbaan was with Alhan at the popular Breakwater cafe in the capital Malé when he was stabbed by his assailant at around 9pm. Police apprehended an 18 year old man at the scene, also finding a knife nearby.
Police have confirmed that a further two men have been arrested in relation to the stabbing. Two of the three now in custody have had their detention period extended to ten days, while the third will appear before judges later this evening.
MDP spokesman Imthiyaz ‘Inthi’ Fahmy described the attack as “very difficult to understand”, though he also suspects an organised attack.
“This is a planned one – I’m sure, I can tell that. The license plates of the motorbikes were changed before they came to the place to attack Alhan – that’s what I heard from sources,” said Inthi.
Inthi expressed dismay at the attack, noting that politicians needed to be free to work without fear, describing yesterday’s attack as a deliberate attempt to murder Alhan.
An official statement from the MDP’s parliamentary group today condemned the attack, expressing concern that “attackers are not hesitant to carry out such attacks in public”.
“This attack shows the loss of public order and justice. The MDP parliamentary group calls for a proper investigation and calls for the perpetrators to be brought to justice.”
Parliamentary group member Hamid Abdul Ghafoor described the continued intimidation of MPs as a “war that had gotten physical”.
Hamid suggested that the country’s recent moves toward democracy have made it more difficult to silence MPs:
“Before, you just disappeared. Now, they have to play outside of the law,” said Hamid, citing the murder of MP Dr Afrasheem Ali in 2012.
Cases involving Afrasheem, Hamid, and Alhan are currently being monitored by the Inter-Parliamentary Union, which organised an urgent visit to the Maldives late last year after expressing concerns over the intimidation of MPs.
Last August, Alhan was summoned by police in connection with the alleged blackmailing of Supreme Court Justice Ali Hameed, using footage of the judge having sex with two foreign women said to be prostitutes.
The MP tweeted a screenshot of a text message he claimed had been sent to his mobile phone by Superintendent of Police Mohamed Riyaz. The text read: “Alhan, will make sure you are fully famed (sic) for blackmailing Justice Ali Hameed. You don’t know who we are.’’