Translation: Former Police Commissioner’s statement to CoNI

This translation first appeared on Dhivehisitee. Republished with permission

This is a translation of an extract from the former Police Commissioner Ahmed Faseeh’s testimony to the Commission of National Inquiry (CoNI) on the events of 7 February 2012. Despite being a national inquiry, none of the evidence has been shared with the public. Faseeh’s testimony was leaked on the Internet recently.

It was the evening of 6 February 2012. Like all other nights, there would be protests. Aware of this, we pushed protesters back from near MTCC to the market area. Displeased, they moved to the Artificial Beach. The protest kicked off around 9:00.

On one side was the so-called Coalition – PPM, Qaumee Party, Jumhooree Party, these parties. There were about 200-300 of them. On the other side was MDP—actually, it was pro-MDP supporters—with 200 or so people.

I was in and out of the Ops Room. The phone rang.

“Withdraw the police, Faseeh.” It was our Minister.

“Why?” I asked.

“Faseeh, withdraw the police. Every night, things end the same way now. They are the ones making things worse.”

A superior or not, I respond only when I am clear on what I am being asked to do, and when I know whether it can be done or not. I quickly assessed the situation. There were violent people on one side, some of them carried stones. People on both sides had planks of wood. Our troops were in the middle. We were concentrating on keeping them apart.

Around 9:30-10:00 [pm] the phone rang. It was the President.

“Faseeh, we cannot trust the police now. Every night this is allowed to drag on until about 3:00. Withdraw them.”

I dispatched Farhad Fikry, head of directorate, to take stock.

“The situation is very bad. If we withdraw, things will get worse,” Fikry reported back five minutes later.

It was around this time that I realised the President did not trust us either.

The only option was for the military to take over. Back when the protests began we made a collective request for military assistance through the Home Ministry. The law allows us to do that.

I rang Defence Minister Tholhath Ibrahim.

“Sir, here is what is happening”, I updated him. “I will not withdraw until you come.”

“No problem,” Tholhath said, “I’ll get a team ready.”

I think they took about twenty-five minutes. They are slow, not very practised on the streets. I doubted their ability to tackle the situation.

Our boys came to the Republic Square once the military took over. I think there were about three platoons. There are 30 in each platoon; and there were about 90 people.

Around 10:30, I was in my office with Assistant Commissioner Sadiq, and an older colleague, discussing the situation.

“Hear that?” Sadiq interrupted.

We went to the balcony. They were running up and down, screaming filth. I rushed downstairs from my fourth floor office. Deputy Commissioner Atheef and were running down too.

‘Ganja Bo!’ [Pothead!], the boys shouted. A lot else too.

I knew then these boys were no longer following orders.

They were leaving in lorries. Atheef managed to grab the key off one of the vehicles. Two platoons left, one couldn’t. Some may have left on other vehicles, I am not sure. I did not see that. This was Marine Drive, in front of Boduthakurufaanu Magu police [building]. I used the western exit.

I was in shock. And why wouldn’t I be? This was definitely not acceptable police behaviour.

My phone rang.

“They are going past our house towards MDP Haruge”, a close friend reported. He lives on Ameenee Magu, near Dharubaaruge.

“Police are headed West, shouting filth. We’ll destroy it, they are saying. This is about MDP Haruge. I think they are going to the Haruge. Check what’s going on!”

Soon I received information they went to the area under military control, beat up MDP people there. As if that wasn’t enough, the next platoon headed to MDP Haruge, beat more people up, vandalised the place. They did a whole lot of other things.

I felt dejected, drained, seeing such indiscipline from the police.

After doing whatever it was they did, they returned to the Republic Square. I think there were about 90 on the helipad. Some more police stood on the sides. A few Blues on standby, too. Roughly, there were about 100, 150 boys milling about.

I rang my Deputy, Muneer.

“Talk to them. Ask them about what they just did. Ask them what. Why.” I instructed him.

It was around 10:30, from what I recall. Muneer attempted to talk to a deputy commissioner.

“La ilaha ilallah!” he reported back. “Those people are beyond talking. They are barbaric; they are not following orders.”

I saw Deputy Commissioner Atheef. I was standing outside the police [building], behind the flag, on the pavement. I intended to talk to them but I saw their behaviour and changed my mind. I saw Atheef going into the crowd. No sooner did he go in, he came back out. The place was in complete chaos, I knew then. There was no discipline, no order.

Around 11:00, I called Tholhath and went to the military headquarters. The current Chief of Defence Force General Shiyam, former Chief of Defence Force Moosa Ali Jaleel, Colonel Ziyad, Tolhath, and former Brigadier General Ibrahim Didi were there.

“The police have mutinied,” I said to Tholhath. “They are not following my orders. I don’t have a force to control them. I cannot do anything until you have them isolated. I have only the Blues, who can’t control them. I am helpless.

It’s impossible to talk to them. If approached, they shout filth. That’s the level they have sunk to. They broke into MDP Haruge, vandalised it. They are acting on their own. They are not ‘right’ any more.”

“Don’t worry, Faseeh. I will do that now,” Tholhath reassured me.

Order after order was given. Jaleel also. Orders were recorded at 1:30, 2:30, 3:30, 4:30. Nothing happened.

Outside, a rumour had taken hold: the military were coming out to beat the police.

“The military are about to come out, we must confront them,” this is what was being said. Of course, it affected the Blues and all other police. The Blues moved closer, began mingling with them. Now they numbered about 300 altogether.

Around 3:30 [a.m.] Ibrahim Didi came in.

“We don’t have the capacity to control them without causing great casualties. The police will be very strong if they come with batons and gas,” he said to Tolhath.

The same thing happened many times. It dragged on.

Meanwhile, outside, they kept calling for the President to resign. They jumped up and down. They screamed. “Ganja Boa Resign!”, reverberated across the air.

Until then, I thought this was perhaps about the arrest of Abdulla Ghaazee, or about being taken into military custody. Or maybe they were exhausted and angry, forced to control protests every night.

But, listening to the “Ganja Boa Resign!” screams, I realised. It was political.

Once again, I felt dejected.

Suddenly, the President arrived. It was 4:30, 5:00.

“Do it before sunrise, or it can’t be done. This is a small thing, is it not? Even I can do it. Shall I do it?” The President was speaking to Jaleel.

“No, no,” was the reply. The military came out then.

There were three platoons, from what I can remember. They formed a line outside the entrance of the police building. Those police were on the helipad. They were shouting loudly. The place was about to erupt. A confrontation between the military and the police seemed imminent. Any announcement we made, they responded with loud screams. It was, really, specifically, impossible to continue.

The military advanced. It retreated. Advanced, retreated. Those gentlemen just couldn’t do anything. They went out, they came back in. The military failed.

Dawn had broken, the first prayer call had been sounded. I remember it as being around 5:45. Between 5:45-6:00. Or maybe it was past 6:00. Between 5:45 and 6:15 anyway. The President called me to a meeting.

Home Minister, Defence Minister, Chief of Defence Force Jaleel, current Chief Shiyam, General Didi, General Nilam were also present.

“What’s your view?” the President asked me.

“Same as before. I don’t have any power right now. The only way is through the military. And that still has not been done,” I replied.

“Why don’t you talk to them?”

“Yes, I can do that,” I said, and left immediately.

I did my morning prayer. I had been unable to till then.

“I want to meet with them,” I told my secretary. “Assess the situation.”

“There are members of public, there are others. They don’t seem right, Sir.”

I thought it better to ask four or five senior boys among them to come and meet with me instead.

Earlier the President had given me a message to relay to the boys.

“We pardon you for all the things that we can pardon you for. Of course, if you have hit somebody, it cannot be done.”

It was a good message he came with, is it not?

“There are no seniors. We are all equal, and we speak with one voice,” was their response to my request for a meeting.

“But there would be people senior in rank!” They ignored me.

I asked Head of Intelligence to find out what the mood was like among them. To negotiate.

“They would like to come and talk,” he reported back.

I waited for a long time, then went up for breakfast. It was past 7:00. The din from outside suddenly grew incredibly loud. I went up on the terrace to look. Enmass, police on the helipad were running towards Najah Art Palace. Towards the Chandhani Magu and Orchid Magu intersection. They ran hard, they were screaming.

A group of MDP people had arrived when police were chanting their pledge. The police were running to beat them up.

I don’t know…I did not bother with breakfast, I went straight to my room. Afterwards, I slipped quietly out to my office, that is, the Commissioner’s administrative office.

Outside the police gates! Outside the police gates there was chaos. The police—screaming, throwing stones…more.

“They have started damaging the police [building] now,” some female office staff reported.

I think I called Tholhath. I vaguely remember doing that. But I am not sure. I think I said to him, “They are now attacking police. Find a way to stop them.”

Some of the military, about 60 or 90, came out. In full riot gear. But they could not control the police.

The military and the police confronted each other. They damaged a military truck, threw things at the main gate of the military headquarters. If one threw a canister, the other did the same. If one side threw a stone, the other threw three back. Back and forth they went. Time passed. Some military personnel joined them.

“Superintendent Ibrahim Manik is being brought out, people kicking and beating him!” a female officer suddenly cried. It was true. They were kicking him like he was a football. I saw, but I could not look for long.

“Sir, you shouldn’t come out to investigate. They might see you and come for you. They may beat you too,” someone said.

“Jinah is also being taken out,” I heard next.

I saw people being beaten. I heard destruction, the sound of glass shattering, then falling.

“They are looking for you too. A Shahil and a Khithram were here asking for you,” my secretary said. Those two had been in the SO.

“We pretended you were not here,” she said.

There were about six boys standing guard at the door leading to my section. I was in there with the door to the Commissioner’s administrative office closed. There were two bodyguards with me, and my administrative staff. Some boys who wish me well were outside. I was protected.

They brought back news of places damaged.

“The mess room has been destroyed,” they told me.

“Who did it?”

“They did it. The police.”

When police started destroying police property, when they started beating people up, it really upset me. They were beyond control, beyond reason.

Around 10:30-11:00, Colonel Nazim, F.A [Mohamed Fayaz] and Abdulla Riyaz [current CP] arrived. If you are in the police, you know who these three gentlemen are. Two of them are ex-police. The third, Nazim, is ex-military.

“We are going into the military HQ to talk,” they announced.

“What are these people doing here? What is going on?” I wondered.

It was Nazim on the megaphone. I know his voice, he is a classmate of mine. Three years.

“We have met with the military leaders. I have ordered the president to resign. He will be resigning in the next one and a half to two hours. I have also ordered the Police Commissioner and his two Deputies to write their resignation letters without condition,” Nazim was saying.

All control was lost. I must save my life, I thought. I told my secretary to write a letter seeking an honorary retirement. I put the letter on my desk and sat there. I was afraid, I was a captive in the room. Time passed.

I think it was around 13:30 when I heard of the President’s resignation.

Around 2:00, I heard Superintendent Fairoosh was looking for me. They are based on the floor above me.

I had heard of outsiders entering the building — Hassan Saeed, Gasim Ibrahim, Sheikh Imran, these people. There had been a takeover, I knew.

I went up to meet Fairoosh.

“Sir, you have to meet all the officers,” he said. There were several in the room. There was destruction in the room, too. And in the Minister’s office. I walked across the shattered glass on the floor and sat down at the end of the table.

“This is not the worst day. It sets a dangerous precedent. It is sad,” I started.

“Are you not resigning?” Fairoosh asked.

“I have resigned. I have written the letter. But I do not know who to give it to,” I said.

Fairoosh was the automatic leader. Remember I said I ran downstairs, suddenly, at the start of all this? He is one of the boys who met me then.

“What is going on, Sir? This has to be corrected!” he said to me then. He was abrupt, brisk. Disrespectful. He had been a part of it from the beginning. Now he was asking me about my retirement.

“I intend to retire, but I do not know who to hand the notice in to,” I replied.

Shortly after, I heard Fairoosh was now the Acting Commissioner. I was shocked. My retirement was yet to be accepted. They took it upon themselves. Apparently, they even took a vote. Sadiq’s name was proposed, he withdrew it. Anyway, it was Fairoosh that was selected.

This is how things happened.


15 thoughts on “Translation: Former Police Commissioner’s statement to CoNI”

  1. "All control was lost. I must save my life, I thought. I told my secretary to write a letter seeking an honorary retirement. I put the letter on my desk and sat there. I was afraid, I was a captive in the room. Time passed."

    This is an act of cowardice & betraying of what you take oath for this country.shame...

  2. Faseeh , you were sworn to protect the country and you failed now you whine seeking redemption from the public . you lost control and you failed to protect the legitimate presidency ( not President ). what ever you say there is no honor for you

  3. @!
    of all the facts and details in this article that single paragraph was the only thing that you could grasp from it? brilliant piece of work you are

  4. He was full of hot air and baloney. What more could be expected? Same as the fellow who got himself holed up in the indian HC just like a gecko in a wall crack. lol

  5. "Sir" Donald McKinnon and the whole of Commonwealth should be ashamed of themselves for backing CoNI. Sickening how the international community supported autocracy at the expense of democracy. Shame on you.

  6. Faseeh and the intelligence chief are part of the conspiracy. The best way to hide the main architects of the police mutiny and the outside rioting on Feb 7th, is to parade them as defectors themselves to the public; it is the perfect cover or disguise, you see. It is a clever ruse no less.

    There definitely was rioting and police mutiny, a coup might not have been there, because Nasheed was never in control of the central structures of power (Industrial and military). While Nasheed was doing voice-overs in Presidents House, the plotters were Maumoonism- they were the wizards operating unseen to Anni and loonies :), always had control.

    And they are back now. and they are working with the help and backing of Beijing. Everything is being coordinated by Beijing you see. They have however left internal policy to us, autonomy as you say. Yet secretly a stooge of China (keke).......

    It was a calculation in-step with the changing regional dynamics and international warfare unaware to most(real political designs are always hidden from laymen, they only rely on news-media, and they always lie or are grossly misinformed; things always happen behind the scene).

    The move away from India was calculated , intended to be maximum profitable to the Maldives I might add. There is even quiet consent within Delhi for this move because it has also involved them. The Congress Party which controls Delhi now, is heavily invested in China's designs you see. India's super-power aspirations have been internalized to make way for a union between Russia, China and an Indian confederacy. Resources to be shared, the future in 30 years will see the abolition of nation-states and the formation of regionae and Corporate entities you see.

    Relations between Maumoonism and Anni personally is quite good now. HE has also understood maybe how important China is in all of this (the British and the West are in a retreat- wake up!). The MNDF also has operatives now in this regard.
    The problem for Anni is the family and political pressures around him (he like others always has to please the world around him also). Else it would have been easy to buy off President Anni, maybe with a prestigious post in powerful European (UN) body or something. be continued.

  7. Is this Gayooms private army against everything the honest Maldivian people expect.

  8. This translation is true and it is pieced from here and there and omitting large portion of the whole statement.

    This is Fili Nasheed and his associates are always trying.

    In this report, it is completely ignored what military has down at the artificial beach and why these policemen had even gathered in the victory square.

    Faseeh had also clearly explained that part also.

    Faseeh also explained how Nazim and Riyaz came into the pictures and that part of the statement is removed here.

    Basic point is that this is usual tactics used by Fili Nasheed to create doubts and create violence in the country.

    When a person reads this, it looks like that this was completely orchestrated by some one but the truth of the matter is not ?

    Minivan should learn to practice more responsible journalism rather than putting the fuel into the fire in the wrong place.

  9. Must come out with the fact,the Constitution of Maldives says can arrest any body if he or she think that the person is going to act a crime and to keep him or free him is under a Judge.

    The Party leaders,Police and the Army created violence in republican square and brought the arrest judge freed him without a judge odder and he was arrested by the army as high risk to nation,

    This is violating constitution right and they demanded that former President Naseed is given dodders out of constitution and force him out office and freed the Judge

    The Human right commission pf Maldives HRCM violates the constitutional right of the Maldive filing a case against the President who is force out of office and beaten up his party on office

    the court must have a hearing to the people who freed the the Prisoner not the person who arrest him

  10. CoNi has seen this statement and it here it is missing some portions from the satinets.

    In fact MINIVAN is twisting the story here . Look at the headline? It says the "translation" of the statement . In reality the statement is already in english and there is no reason for translating the statement again?

    Translation was done into Dhivehi from English and i do not know why it is required to do a another translation of documents that is already in English.

    This is how far Fili Nasheed and Minivan will go to divert the attention from the truth .

  11. Faseeh is the descendant of a King. How can you blame him for the way he is and the way other people treat him?

    He is a Prince.

    And as such he is used to others listening to him, praising him, even if he really knows and does nothing.

    He was a dummy. EVERYONE knows this.

  12. If one has an objective mind, it's quite clear that the overthrow of the elected government was an illegal act.

    Gayyoom and his party got their cake which they've been waiting for since November 2008. They couldn't do it without some sections of the military and the police.

    It's only a matter of time, but we will have a democratic government one of these days. I sure hope they clear up the mess that's called the Maldives Police Service. It should be disbanded in its current form and a new police force will need to be built from the ground up.

    You don't need thousands of "boys" in there either. Just a few hundred well educated and well trained and motivated force will be enough. There's quite a lot of truth to what President Nasheed said to Faseeh that night. The Police always fuel (the wrong way) every public protest or gathering.

    Using force against force never leads to a good outcome. Just ask Gandhi about that. Police forces in some of the largest democracies do not even have the kind of gear and chemicals that the Maldives Police Service has under its control. The reason is simple. The heavier handed the police get, the more violent the surrounding communities become. There's a reason why a British police officer doesn't carry anything more violent than a baton! Human beings react better to a smile than to a riot shield or tear gas canister!

  13. Until Fili Nasheed sees himself as failure , nothing in this country going to be right.

    The man behind all the violence in the country is Nasheed.

  14. 1. On Feb 06, night the police withdrew from their positions when the MNDF agreed to stand guard between the two opposing groups of MDP activists and the opposition aligned parties. Minutes after the police left the scene, the order came from the top for MNDF to abandon their position. This order came directly from MDP ministerial level, who wanted to ‘solve’ the problem of the protests by having activists attack protestors with stones and pavement bricks. As a result of the order MNDF withdrew and the two sides gathered at artificial beach clashed.
    2. On the night of Feb 06, Musthafa’s previously owned food court restaurant at artificial beach was used by MDP activist to accumulate pavement bricks for the activists to use against the gathered protestors.
    3. The police rushed to artificial beach that night, because they realized they had been deceived by their superiors and by MDP, and that the order for them to withdraw from the scene had been a part of the plot by MDP ministers and by Police superiors to make way for MDP activists to instigate the stone-throwing against the gathered protestors.
    4. Was president nasheed aware that this fight on Feb 06 was going to happen ?
    The comment of Faseeh that President nasheed directly contacted him and told him to withdraw the police is proof that President nasheed was aware of the ongoings and wanted to utilize MDP activists to disperse the gathered protestors of the opposition alliance.
    The comment of Faseeh that President Nasheed directly told him that he felt that police had been incapable of solving the protests, is proof that he wanted to do things his way.
    Is this something that an elected president should say ?
    Should a president of Maldives elected by the people to serve the people order his police force to withdraw from a scene where a violent confrontation is imminent so that his party activists can use pavement bricks gathered in advance to disperse a protest the police was unwilling to break up ?
    When president nasheed swore his oath of presidency did he swear to protect all of the people of Maldives or did he swear to protect just his party activists ?
    What kind of president issues such orders knowing fully aware that his orders would lead to violence against his country’s people ?
    5. The article makes no mention of the events that transpired at artificial beach when the MNDF withdrew, and that the police and the Star force had been rushing to protect the protestors from the violence of people who had been throwing pavement bricks. The police had arrived at the scene and had driven the two groups of people apart and stopped the pavement bricks throwing.
    6. The anger of the police force was when they realized that MDP ministers and even the elected president was using them to disperse political gatherings and discourage further protests by inflicting bodily harm on the protestors.
    7. The police had pursued the pavement throwing activists to the MDP haruge where the activists had fled to seek refuge. Angry at the events that had happened, the Star Force police squad had trashed the place. They should not have done this.
    8. Similarly this report seems to have omitted the fact that on the morning of Feb 7, when MDP activists had gathered at the corner of reefside with planks and metal rods with the intent of a confrontation with police who were protesting. MDP had rushed to Jumhoory maidhaan, with the intent of driving out the police with MDP’s activists. However the superior training of the police had enabled the police to overcome the MDP activists who had arrived to “pick a fight” and disperse them.
    9. The underlying feeling felt by Police back then in February 7 was that the MDP elected govt, was seeking to do things their own way, seeking to protect only MDP people, and even willing to go so far as to attack Maldivian peopleso that MDP could achieve a political victory and discourage further protests against the govt. As the individuals sworn to protect the rights of the people, the police felt angered that they had to serve such corrupt MDP govt officials who were willing to attack everyone else except MDP, so that they could win. When this realization came to the police, they, all of the police revolted against the MDP government. It was not an act done by a single person of police, rather that day the whole of the police institution revolted against MDP govt.
    Even though Anni realized on the morning of Feb 7th, that his way of doing things using his activists such as throwing stones and attacking protestors with his activists had backfired, he could not openly admit that his party activists had committed such a blunder. Instead he sought to blame the situation on the police, when he in fact knew that his actions, the actions of his activists had been the instigator for this policy and MNDF mutiny to arise.
    This is a lesson to all presidents of Maldives. When he stops serving his people and starts serving the interests of a few of his people they are going to be people in institutions such as police and MNDF that will rise up against such presidents.


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