Tensions escalate as government accuse MDP, Raajje TV of “inciting hatred and violence against police”

Following the murder of Lance Corporal Ahmed Haleem on Sunday, the government has said deposed President Mohamed Nasheed, opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), and the opposition aligned Raajje TV are responsible for attacks on police, and have pledged to summon Nasheed for questioning over charges of inciting hatred and violence against police.

Superintendent of police Mohamed Riyaz at a press conference this evening publicised an audio conversation held between MDP MP Mariya Ahmed Didi and Nasheed on May 29, in which Nasheed allegedly told Mariya to find people to fight the police. Riyaz said the police would obtain a court order to summon Nasheed for questioning within the week.

A few hours later, former Deputy Home Minister Hassan Mahir was arrested under a court warrant on charges of inciting violence against the police during a speech given at the MDP’s protest camp at Usfasgandu.

Meanwhile, in a separate joint press conference held at noon at Iskandhar Koshi today, Home Minister Mohamed Jameel and Police Commissioner Abdulla Riyaz said Raajje TV had spread “baseless allegations” about police brutality and the police role in the controversial change of government on February 7, thereby inciting and encouraging violence against the police and their families. Further, deposed President Nasheed was directly responsible for planning and inciting violent attacks on police, Abdulla Riyaz said.

Nasheed had resigned from office on February 7, but later claimed he was ousted in a coup d’état, planned by the remnants of the former dictatorship, funded by resort interests, and carried out by mutinous elements of the police and military. The MDP has since held regular protests calling for early elections.

Attorney General Azima Shukoor has also told state broadcaster Television Maldives (TVM) that the government will take action against the Elections Commission and the Maldives Broadcasting Commission (MBC) for respectively failing to discipline Raajje TV and the MDP, claiming the two bodies must be held responsible for encouraging attacks on police and the death of Haleem.

Police have arrested Mohamed Samaah, 22, over Haleem’s death, but have declined to give any further details. The MDP have said Samaah belonged to government coalition member and former President of 30 years Maumoon Abdul Gayoom’s Progressive Party of the Maldives (PPM).

Nasheed- Mariya conversation

Nasheed and Mariya’s leaked audio conversation appears to have been held during the police’s attempt to dismantle the MDP’s protest camp at Usfasgandu on May 29. Police had obtained a search warrant claiming MDP was performing black magic, conducting criminal activity and damaging public property in the area.

In the audio clip, Mariya says: “[Police] are forcing people back! They are using pepper spray! That is why we are unable to hold a national council meeting. And we have also received a second letter, ordering us to vacate the area by ten o’clock tonight. We cannot file an appeal at court or do anything. We cannot even hold the National Council meeting. We won’t have [enough members for] quorum. Shihab is here. But they are using pepper spray and forcing people back. Can only vacate the place if we could only get in there. This is all very unjust. What shall I do?”

Nasheed then replies, “There’s not much we can do. I don’t know. What is there to do? I think [we] need to get people out to fight if we can get them. If we can get people to fight, get them out. It’s very clear to me, I think we need to fight back. If we can get people to fight. Find kids from Male to fight the police,” Mariya laughs at this point, but Nasheed continues, “That is what I think. I don’t know if we can get people to fight. I want to fight against them.”

Amnesty International released a statement on June 11, alleging the police had used excessive force against protesters on May 29, by pepper spraying, beating and arresting peaceful protesters, bystanders and journalists. Police denied the allegations.

Superintendent of Police Mohamed Riyaz today said the police had decided to publicize the audio conversation “because we have no other choice.”

Riyaz said Mariya had been summoned for questioning over the audio clip on June 20, but the MDP had spread baseless allegations that the police were arresting and harrassing opposition politicians for no apparent reason. Hence, “the time has come to reveal the truth,” Riyaz said.

The audio clip was obtained legally through a court warrant, he added.

At approximately 9:00 pm this evening, former deputy Home Minister Hassan Mahir was arrested for comments made at Usfasgandu, in which he had allegedly incited violence against the police. Video footage of February 7 shows Mahir being attacked by men in civilians as police in riot gear watch outside the Police HQ and another man screams, “Kill him!”

The MDP has consistently raised concerns over new President Dr Mohamed Waheed Hassan’s failure to prosecute the police for brutality on February 7, 8 and at subsequent MDP demonstrations.

“Enemies of the state”

Speaking at a press conference at noon, Home Minister Jameel and Police Commissioner Abdulla Riyaz condemned MDP and Rajje TV’s alleged incitement of hatred and violence against police and their families.

Jameel described MDP and Raajje TV as “enemies of the state,” while Riyaz said Nasheed and senior MDP officials were behind the planning of psychological and physical attacks on the police.

“I note that former President Mohamed Nasheed is behind the planning of the attacks and damage caused to police property and repeated physical attacks on police officers.” Riyaz said.

Claiming Raajje TV’s reporting was “not responsible journalism,” Riyaz said that the station had spread baseless allegations regarding police brutality towards protesters and police role in the controversial change of government.

“Raajje TV has repeatedly attempted to defame and raise questions over police professionalism by broadcasting baseless allegations to create distrust towards the police,” he added.

He went on to refute a recent Raajje TV report that police had stolen fuel from parked motor cycles, claiming Raajje TV was attempting to falsely cast the entire police force as “brutal” and as “thieves.”

Earlier in the day, the Police released a satement saying they  will no longer cooperate with Raajje TV or provide protection to the station due to its attempts to defame the institution. The Maldives Broadcasting Commission (MBC) subsequently told Raajje TV to issue an apology for the report on police officers stealing petrol.

Conversely, Raajje TV has also accused police of targeting, assaulting and harrasing its reporters during MDP’s protests.

A statement from Raajje TV on July 10 read: “Raajje TV journalists have been forced to live in fear as they have increasingly become targets of attacks by the national security forces, particularly the police service. The station also believes that these attacks and harassment has been the source of emotional distress and psychological damage to all Raajje TV employees.”

However, Riyaz stressed today that the police force did not discriminate.  “I believe the police are professional. I am not under any political influence,” he added

During MDP’s protest on February 8, 64 policemen had been injured while police stations had sustained over Rf 130,000 (US$ 8387) worth damages, Riyaz said. It was Raajje TV’s broadcasting of false reports that police had killed a man in Male’ that led to the vandalism and arson attacks on police stations and court buildings throughout the Maldives, Riyaz alleged.

“We will take action against whoever incites violence against the police, no matter who it is or what kind of position they hold or have held in the past,” Jameel said.

Police have already filed criminal charges against Nasheed for his alleged role in the detention of Criminal Court Chief Judge Abdulla Mohamed in January and the discovery of alcohol bottles at Nasheed’s residence following his resignation. The Prosecutor General (PG) this month filed charges against Nasheed at the Hulhumale’ Island Court over Abdulla’s detention, but the court has rejected the case claiming the case was outside its “jurisdiction.”

The Commonwealth’s Special Envoy to the Maldives Sir Donald McKinnon and the UN Human Rights Commissioner Navi Pillay have expressed concern over the state’s attempt to prosecute Nasheed.

Complaints against EC, MBC

Attorney General Azima Shukoor, speaking on TVM’s Raajje Miadhu programme, said the Elections Commission (EC) and the Maldives Broadcasting Commission (MBC) had failed to discipline Raajje TV and MDP for inciting violence despite the government filing numerous complaints.

Azima said MDP’s call for violence were “a fact. You cannot dispute this. Look at the tweets, the materials on Facebook, and the speeches at meetings and protests.”

However, the failure of independent oversight institutions to take action had put the democratic process in the Maldives in jeopardy, Azima claimed. “The country is not functioning when space is given for democracy,” she said.

“Institutions that must take responsibility are not doing their job. [We have] to take action against them. The executive will conduct necessary legal work to take such action. We will submit this case to the Majlis. We are also ready to take necessary action through the courts,” she stated.

In response, the Elections Commissioner Fuad Thawfeeq told TVM that the commission “will not yield to threats and intimidation.”

Regarding the MDP’s protests, he said: “The constitution guarantees freedom of assembly and speech. The elections commission cannot narrow such freedoms.” Thawfeeq said it was the executive’s resonsibility to investigate criminal activities.


34 thoughts on “Tensions escalate as government accuse MDP, Raajje TV of “inciting hatred and violence against police””

  1. Nasheed: “There’s not much we can do. I don’t know. What is there to do? I think [we] need to get people out to fight if we can get them. If we can get people to fight, get them out. It’s very clear to me, I think we need to fight back. If we can get people to fight. Find kids from Male to fight the police.” Mariya laughs at this point, but Nasheed continues, “That is what I think. I don’t know if we can get people to fight. I want to fight against them.”

  2. The difference in looking at things before the coup and after coup are worlds apart. We heard the fiery speeches then by then opposition and religious scholars calling for violence and death and also physically engaged in violence acts but no action was taken nor was permitted when then Police tried to prosecute them then by the so called Judiciary.Now when a policeman was murdered by a member of PPM and a relative of Mr. Jabir , the State is trying it is best to harass and imprison the MDP members who never resorted to violence in spite of the fact that the Police used brutal and excessive force to suppress the legitimate rights of the Maldivians to protest and speak. I wish the Police will instead of trying to blame others for highlighting their shortcomings will take necessary professional steps to reform it's members in order to serve the public honestly and efficiently. When Mr. Riyaz says he is under no political influence he became the biggest liar and the joker in the world. He should be ashamed of himself.
    As for the Home Minister he is one of those enemy of the state as he was heavily involved in the coup. The coup should never have happened in my great country and this miserable period would not have arisen if not for these power crazy unislamic barbarians who call themselves as Madivians but are actually out to ruin the lives of the law abiding hard working innocent citizens of the Maldives. May Almighty creator Allah protect us from these traitors who would stop at nothing to grab power no matter what happens to my country.

  3. I am wondering if this killer had the clip with him since 29th of May and was he listening to the clip over and over again making him vulnerable to Kill ?? And why exactly did they release it right NOW ?? Why not on the 30th of May ??

    Apparently the killer was the campaign manager for JP and had strong ties with Jabir. And he should have no reason to kill a police because of what Nasheed said months ago.

    Not going to say the audio is edited but its a piece of cake for audio engineering.



  5. Zaheena the biased reporter.
    You say Nasheed was deposed.?
    He once said he was resigning. Now like you he says he was deposed.
    Commonwealth is now investigating..
    Wait till the investigation reort is out before you call Nasheed deposed.
    Now yoy can say Nasheed ,the dear leader.
    Or Nasheed the spiritual leader
    Or Nasheed the lovely leader etc

  6. cant trust a single word written by this person. if you want to see the truth about this "journalist" just see some of the tweets made by her.

    absolutely shameful!
    a true mdp activist working for a true mdp paper.

  7. Its called opportunism and we will see a lot more of it in a multiparty democracy.

    The truth is, Nasheed and the MDP left themselves open to such attacks through fiery rhetoric and open flouting of the law.

    Don't get me wrong. I for one am not hopping on the bandwagon to shift the blame for every single death that takes place on this country on Nasheed and the MDP.

    I think this whole exercise serves as a lesson to political parties and society in general to stay away from fire-brand activism and hate-speech. While the President's statement had elements of unfair insinuations towards the MDP, hate-mongering must really be stopped. If we aspire to become a modern democracy in the Western-liberal sense of the word we cannot use every podium and every news-desk to issue messages of hate and calls for retribution.

    Shall we all try and clean up our acts. If the time is not right for legislation preventing hate-speech why don't we all try and tone things down on our own initiative.

  8. It was not a 'leaked' conversation. It was released by the police at the press conference, no?

  9. Why I believe that RaajjeTV is currently the most third-rate media outlet in the country.

    1. FAKE DEPUTY CEO WHO IS A POLITICAL ACTIVIST - The Channel is represented mostly by its "Deputy CEO" who is a 19-year old with no work experience let alone any management experience and only an O'level certificate to his name. RaajjeTV viewers must not condone this open affront to their intelligence for a second. We cannot in earnest believe that a lad of such an age can truly manage or lead a television station. Therefore there is something wrong afoot.

    Also this same "Deputy CEO" is a member of MDP's Media Committee and has also unsuccessfully contested the party's internal elections for the seat of Velidhoo Branch Head on the governing council.

    2. FAKE NEWS HEAD WHO IS A POLITICAL ACTIVIST - The Channel's "News Head" who calls himself Aswad has been seen acting as a political activist at times while pretending to be a journalist on other occasions. He has also contested the MDP's internal elections for a post on the party's youth wing.

    3. SERIOUS ACTS OF DEFAMATION - The Channel has shot itself in the foot by airing two video clips so far which has made unsubstantiated and seriously defamatory allegations against individuals. This is a serious violation of human rights and democratic norms even though some would rather let it slide merely because they support the party promoted by the Channel.

    The first two points I noted above are unique to RaajjeTV and may also be called exploitation of impressionable youngsters who obviously don't know any better.

  10. When the police beats the hell out of people, and molests women when arresting them or after arresting them, and act like they own the world, there is no need for anyone to incite any hatred against them, they are doing a very good job of making people hate them, by their actions alone. This is the truth that the POlice themselves cannot digest. That they are actually acting like animals and not officers of the law. Whose' orders are they following? The Home Minister, Defence Minister etc, these are the people who are making the public hate the police and defence force.

  11. Kutti Nasheed no matter how much you try more people will watch raajje TV than DhiTV and TVM.

  12. އޯޑިއޯގައިހުރި ހަމަނުޖެހޭ ސާބިތު ނުހިފޭ ކަންތަައްތަކާއި، ޤަބޫލުނުކުރެވޭނެކަންކަން….
    1 ރައީސް ނަޝިދު ތިޔަބުނާ ފުލުހުންގައިތަޅަން ފޯނުން ބުނެފާނެކަމަށް ކުރިން ހީކޮށްގެންތޯ ކޯޓްއަމުރެއްހޯދީ ކޯލްރެކޯޑްކުރަން.. މިއީ ޤަބޫލު ކުރެވޭނެ ވާހަކައެއްނޫން.
    2 އެއޯޑިއޯގައި ތަންތަންކޮޅުން އަޑުއަޅަފައިހުރިކަން . އޯޑިއޯއަކީ އެޑިޓްކޮށްފައިވާ އޯޑިއޯއެއްކަން ވަރަށްރަގަޅަށް އެގެންހުރުން.
    3 މިހާދުވަސްވިއިރުވެސް ސަރުކާރުގެ ކަމާބެހޭފަރާތަކުން އެފަދަ އެއްވެސްވާހަކައެއް ޢާއްމުކޮށްފައިނުވުމުން މިކަމަކީ ރޭވިގެން ހިގާކަންތައްތަކެއްކަން ޤަބޫލުކުރެވޭ.
    4 ނަޝީދުގެ އަޑާއި އެއްގޮތަށް ނަޝީދު ވާހަކަދައްކާގޮތަށް ވާހަކަދައްކާ މީހުން މިހާރު ރާއްޖޭގައި މަދެއްނޫން. އޯޑިއޯއަކުން ކުރާނެ މާބޮޑުފައިދާއެއްނެތްކަން ސީދާ ނާޒިމްއާއި ރިޔާޒްއަށްވެސް އެގޭނެ.
    5 ނަޝީދު ބަންދުކުރުމަށް ހަދާނެ ގޮތްހުސްވެގެން ހިންގާ ފިޑިއަމަލަކަށް ތިކަންވުން. އަދި މިދުވސްކޮޅު ނާޒިމްގެ އޯޑިއޯތަކަކާއި، ރިޔާޒްގެ އޯޑިއޯތަކެއް ލީކުވުމުން އެކަން އޮއްބަންކުރާ މަސައްކަތަކަށް ތިކަންވުން.
    6 ހެއްކާބެހޭ އޯޑިއޯ އެވިޑެންސްތައް ޝަރީޢަތަށް ޤަބޫލުކުރެވޭނެފަދަ ޤާނޫނެއް މިރާއްޖޭގައި އަދިހެދިފައިނެތުން.
    7 ކުރާނެ ނުކުރާނެކަމެއްނޭގިގެން އަމިއްލަޔަށް އަތުންފައިން ގޯސްހެދޭއިރުވެސް ރިޔާޒްމެން ނާޒިމްމެން ޖަމީލުމެންނަކަށް މިހެދޭއެއްޗެއް ނޭގޭހާލުގައި ވެރިކަމުގެ ދަހިވެތިކަމުގައި ތިއްބާ އެންމެފަހުން ގިނަކަންކަން އަތައްގޮވުން.
    މިހާހިސާބުން ފުލުހުންނާއި ސިފައިންގެ މުވައްސަސާ ހަލާކުވެއްޖެކަމަށް ބަލަމާތޯއެވެ. މިދެމުވައްސަސާ ސިޔާސީވެ ނިމިއްޖެއެވެ. އަނިޔާވެރިކަން އިސްކުރަން ފަށައިފިއެވެ. މައުމޫނެ އަނިޔާވެރިކަމެވެ.

  13. tsk tsk on Wed, 25th Jul 2012 9:52 AM

    Absolutely, we must only watch VTV and DhiTv as these are professionally run, the owners are non partisan and have not publicly voiced their political affiliation or ambition.

    You are in bed with a dog, a cat, and a damn rooster under the covers, yet the reason you can't sleep is because the pillow is too hard?

    You have me convinced. Brilliant man.

  14. And who gives a damn about your "political" thoughts on a TV channel. You all are so afraid that the people will know the truth if you let them broadcast the channel to the whole Maldives. If you hate the channel so much and don't want to watch then don't. No one will force you!! Why are you keep on coming here and keep on saying its a channel spreading lies while its the opposite is because you all so scared to let the people know from right and wrong.

    Here this guy is admitting on TV that it was the police and the defence force who toppled the government !!


  15. Here is Umar Naseer Publicly calling for bloodshed and claiming that everything to topple a government is complete!!

    Why in the blue hell is he not arrested with a warrant ? Where is the guy who kicked Mahir in the back ? They all are free in the society while everyday innocent people are being nicked !!


  16. MINIVAN remove above Ben Plewright on Your comment is awaiting moderation. Wed, 25th Jul 2012 1:48 PM

    and replace with...

    The HATE, it started from Maldivians HATING Anni’e ppl for not being MUSLIM enough!

    THE HATE! The suspicion, the jealousy, the amorality, the raw hunger for power above other values, the relative lack of emotional expressions and courtesies in the language, this is all socially constructed. Any anger, or hate, or arrogance, or defiance, or inhumanity Anni has is the product of what happens when you repress a persons freedom and violates their rights come to bite you back, your hatred begot Anni's hatred, so if you want to get rid of such HATEFULLNESS as you desribed it, GOVERNMENT, then FREEDOM NOW!!!!

    Maldivians can, and DESERVE to be free from all of that hate, suspicion and PAIN! They can, and DESERVE to be loved, to give and to receive UNIVERSAL LOVE! A maldivian free from that is the most beautiful Creation in the WORLD! I have seen what Maldivians, can and will be, once FREEDOM is realized in the islands!

    The negative traits of Maldivians are due to a belief system which is the consequence of a leadership which uses fear of the other to tyrannize his own people.

  17. @LOL: I had just read your comments, you have a compassionate heart for Mahir and for the oppressed etc... made me feel bad for going off at you the way i did, I misunderstood you evidently, I am really sorry, I am moved by your compassion here thankyou... And IF you really are something which ppl want to kill, I wish ppl's prejudice would be killed.

    Forcing ppl to be Muslims if they are not, or forcing ppl to be straight if they are gay, or whatever, is just creating a society which, at a subconscious level, values the art of hypocrisy and deceipt, suspicion, tyranny and, ultimately, the HATE which this article is all about!

  18. Ben Plewright, as one of the less popular commentators on this forum of MDP rabble I still believe I can garner enough agreement for the following sentiment: kindly shut up.

    Your contributions are by in large annoying, and consist of amateur sociology and overemotional proclamations. We do not need this.

  19. http://www.haveeru.com.mv/news/43652

    What a joke! Maria and Nasheed talk like retarded lovers!

    Nasheed is anything but 'docile'. The entire nation has seen how uncouth BOTH Nasheed and Maria are on the streets when they are screaming their throats to the skies inciting violence.

  20. @tsk tsk. Stop digging your own grave.

    Here you are marked in red while your friend is claiming that this government is bringing good fortune to the country by ambergris. He said he prefer to resign and go to the beach to collect ambergris. I wish if he went. And are you seeing your reaction on your face while he is lying about something that you didn't do ?

    And all that ambergris ought to be ANIMAL FATS !!!!


  21. We want election now, we are ready for the traitors, we are ready to wage war and shed blood to get our freedom and independence back if we have to.

    These Baaghees must go. We are the People and our vote has to be counted. We will never surrender to this Government.

  22. If anyone cares:

    The insult against Ben was made by someone commenting under my usual pseudonym.


    First of all I respect myself too much to ever debate the pros and cons of any statement made by the likes of Umar Naseer, Mavota Shareef, Baarashu Shifaz, Ahmed Mahloof etc.

    Secondly, for the record, I do NOT regularly watch DhiTV, VTV or RaajjeTV or "support" either of them over the other as if they were football teams.

    They are private television channels operating in the Maldives and such I support all of them therefore I have done my bit by constructively criticizing RaajjeTV. I have no issues with the fact that these outlets are financed by political interests (the situation is the same elsewhere), however if we wish to get some benefit out of the whole exercise then we must demand better standards.

    Sadly, RaajjeTV suffers from lack of technical expertise, content and human resource more than due its political bias. I merely pointed out the bias because I think someone's unreasonable demands is setting back RaajjeTV's development.

  23. I thought in your opinion its a cheap tactic to comment and reply to comments. Do not deny what you have done. Think twice we are not little kids.

    I'm gonna ignore you from now on.

  24. @LOL

    Very well son. If you wish to ignore me for now that is your prerogative.

    In the meanwhile please acquire a decent education and adequate life experience. Both would be immensely helpful to you should you again intend to engage someone of my age and intellectual calibre, in political debate.

  25. " immensely helpful to you should you again intend to engage someone of my age and intellectual calibre, in political debate."

    It's petty and out of topic, but Tsk Tsk, I do hope that the above statement was from your doppelgänger.

  26. "Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed" Mahatma Gandhi

  27. Don't call me son as you have no idea who I am. but I do know who you are. Stop denying that !! And stop pretending to be someone else !! Stop insulting people and stop coming here to spread your Dons propaganda !! Stop using different names!! Its a piece of cake to determine if you are commenting on different names!! Its non of your f**** business to tell me what kind of education I should have. And you can't tell me on which age limit people should I debate or argue with!! I do not belong to any political party in MALDIVES! I am not holding a Maldivian citizenship with me. Older than 30 years,, who the hell do you think I am ?? My current location gives me enough liberty to do whatever I please to. INCLUDING FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION !!!

  28. I do support MDP I agree, not going to deny than but I am not a member of MDP or any other!
    Thank you !

  29. Annie seems helpless, hopeless and disappointed by the acts of unruly force. When people are faced with such mad crowds, the first thing that comes to mind is to hit them, but Annie was unable to do that as well and almost felt very vulnerable. No clue Junta’s motive by showing this phone call. One thing is sure, the junta force is the most irrational and uncivilized group with guns and bullets, the Maldivian should be careful with this force, they can do anything to harm anyone who they think is their enemy. They have created a mindset, with an idea that any one participate in a demonstration is their enemy, and do everything what people do on a battle field, like spying, conspires , and planning for the next battle. The root cause of all problems comes from this junta police as they don’t behave rationally by doing all this Qayoom style cheap tricks to silence people. The only reason why the country has fallen to this level is due to Qayoom’s policy of silencing dissidents and freedom. Now people are trying to exercise their lost freedom to its fullest and you can’t expect them to behave rationally. They will throw stones, the will break the barricade but junta has to be patient and restrain from using excessive force and stop treating them as enemies on the battle field.

  30. I see that Tsk tsk is dominating much of the discussion here. It is a well used tactic to distract from addressing issues that really matter. possibly been advised by the PR gurus at Presidents office. I suggest we stop giving Tis Tis the floor to feed his/her ego and political machine.

  31. the headline is true and MDP is responsible for creating hatred among the people and the violence.

  32. tsk tisk allmedia are run by politicians, dirty politicians

  33. MDP -the gamaaru bunch of ignorants,
    feel pity for seyku Nasheed, with his brains and MArias filthy mouth no wonder they have reached this episode kekeke


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