MNDF doctor removed from post after alleging brutality against demonstrators

Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) Captain Dr Fathmath Thahsyna Ibrahim has been removed from her post as Deputy Commander of Medical Services, after she expressed outrage on social media about alleged brutality by security forces against demonstrators.

Dr Thahsyna’s 61-year-old father, Ibrahim Abubakur (Kottafaru Dhonthu), was allegedly struck on the head by an MNDF officer during an opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) protest on August 2.

Videos surfaced on social media showing Abubakur emerging from the crowd holding his bloodied head while MNDF officers pushed protesters back to the Chandanee Magu junction. The Republic Square area was cordoned off by MNDF officers while former President Mohamed Nasheed was attending police headquarters.

Captain Dr Fathmath Thahsyna IbrahimFollowing the incident, Dr Thahsyna – who was the first female MNDF doctor – took to Facebook alleging that her father was “hit by an MNDF personnel.”

“Every civilian has the right to freely express their views. No uniformed personnel has any right to beat up their own citizens, no matter what!” she wrote on August 2. “My father was hit on the head and he has a 7cm deep laceration on the back of his head.”

Verbal protest or abuse should not be “answered with the baton,” she added.

“I know my father is an MDP activist and he may have called you names, but still even he doesn’t deserve to be hit on his head,” she wrote.

When she posted the same comments on the MNDF medical page on Facebook, Thahsyna revealed that only two officers expressed well wishes for her father, “out of good will and humanity.”

Abubakur meanwhile told newspaper Haveeru yesterday that his eldest son saw the MNDF officer hit him with a baton.

“That day I was on the pavement in front of the Umar Shopping Arcade. I was behind theBrutality against MDP demonstrators fence. When the army officers charged and tried to disperse the civilians on the road, someone fell outside the fence and I was hit on the head while I was bending over to help him back up.”

Speaking to Minivan News today, MNDF Spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Abdul Raheem confirmed that Dr Thahsyna was removed from her post as deputy commander on August 5.

Raheem however stressed that she was not demoted to a lower rank but had “a change of appointment,” which “happened routinely” in the army.

“She is still working at the medical services,” he said. “She has not been transferred to a different unit.”

While Colonel Raheem could not “definitely say at the moment” that Dr Thahsyna’s removal as deputy commander was in response to her comments on Facebook, the MNDF spokesperson confirmed that an “internal investigation” was ongoing into the allegations of brutality against Dr Thahsyna’s father.

He however added that Dr Thahsyna’s remarks on Facebook was related to the investigation as she was a uniformed officer making public comments concerning the army.

On August 3, Dr Thahsyna posted on Facebook asserting that she has “never crossed my limitations as a solider and never will.”

“I don’t believe expressing my sentiments about my father being beaten up unlawfully is ‘being political’,” she wrote. “What is wrong is wrong no matter who does it. And we should not hide these unlawful acts, in order to make people responsible for their actions.”

Raheem meanwhile insisted that the MNDF would take action against any officers who assaulted civilians “if the investigation finds that any officer was involved.”

“The MNDF does not support violence and will never support it,” he said. “We have been telling our officers continuously that no harm should be caused to anyone. We have internal mechanisms to investigate such allegations and take measures.”

In the wake of the controversial transfer of power on February 7, Amnesty International, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and UN Human Rights Committee have expressed concern over the “excessive use of force” against demonstrators of the formerly ruling MDP calling for early elections for the past six months.


46 thoughts on “MNDF doctor removed from post after alleging brutality against demonstrators”

  1. she studied her MBBS on MNDF funding. i support she be dishonourbly discharged from the army and be made to pay the full coast of her studies.
    ofcourse, i condemn the attack on her father. but according to the journalists who were covering the events that day, the man was hit by mdp people during a strife among the protesters. now who is telling the truth, mdp activists or journalists?
    but whatever, thats no way for an army officer to act. especially when the army has invested so much on her.

  2. hajja, you are sick. We are talking about a daughter who stood up to those who hit her father. You are a daughter first before you are a soldier. This has nothing to do with who funded her education. It is the duty of a son or daughter to speak up when their parents are victimised. If you don't believe that is the right way for children to act, then I pity your own parents.

  3. Hajja, She was terminated from her post of Medical's "Deputy Commander" just because she stood against brutality which MNDF's Chief of Defense just couldn't digest.

  4. Further confirmation of the increasingly military rule. There is no reason to penalize this doctor for the reason they stated. Thank you Dr Thahsyna for your service and wish your father well. It is because of the few people like you that we have hope and respect for the uniform.

  5. Hajja don't be deluded. be a responsible citizen and stand up straight against a police force that is resembling a militia every passing day.

  6. Another sympathiser of the MalDeviant Democratic Party neutralised from spreading further mischief.

    It is the will of God almighty. Do not blaspheme by protesting her well deserved fate like you blaspheme by protesting Nasheeds political demise.

  7. @dhivehi hanguraama "do not blaspheme by protesting her well deserved fate"? Where do you dhannabeykalun come from? It's always holier than thou.

  8. MNDF should have come up with an excuse this time? the heat, Ramadan, fasting, pressure, tension!! oh my!!

    How can You stand n watch, when ur parent get hit by a uniformed comrade ????? No one can, and therefore she can file a court marshal for illegal, discharge from service, Now MNDF can pay, they are in tourism business again!!

    So pathetic from MNDF chief of defence to be so arrogant about his dogs who are barking all night in the name of national security!!

  9. What did Dr. Thahsyna wrote - it was wrong to beat people like what happened on this particular occasion. Most of us know what happened, it was brutal. she just said that. Nothing more.
    She has the right to condemn the brutality of the military as a military officer, as well as a citizen of Maldives. This is an unlawful militia trying to control the country by force.

  10. As for Hajja's remarks of Dr. Thahsyna to pay for cost of her studies, sounds more like a personal hatred. Even if she is dismissed she will not have to pay a cent, because she was paid by the state, and according the rules, she should be given a post at IGMK, and if they don't have a similar job she is free to find a job anywhere she like. As for MNDF post, she also has the right to refuse just any post they give here, because here again she took the post to serve as a medical officer, and just not any post.

  11. Saif, I agree with you and want to add one more thing. No matter what, whether your father or relative, if people in uniforms harm any unarmed citizen enjoying their rights should not be condoned by fellow officers and soldiers because we maldivians are one family practicing one religion and speaking one language. Be courageous and stand up against the rogues within your ranks please. Be a soldier and a gentleman.

  12. If Anni had not given Gayoom and his henchmen amnesty for their decades of crimes against the people, but had them promptly tried and executed as they deserved, none of this nonsense would be occurring. No good deed goes unpunished. Hopefully Anni has learned from his mistakes and once reinstalled as President he will not be so quick to forgive the Dictator and his criminal junta.

  13. Tsk tsk tsk.. Hajja your level of education is that of my keyboard or maybe a paperclip. Your attempt to spell cost failed miserably. Good luck inside person.

  14. Hajja FYI MNDF DID NOT fund her MBBS nor her internship,..and she's still paying off the loan she took for completion of her internship... It was THAT Father of her who was brutally attacked, who paid for her MBBS...
    The army should condemn their officers beating up poor citizens for expressing their views, as they advice their officers not to do so, every time they send the soldiers for a confrontation (according to MNDF spokes person)...
    MNDF should be fair in taking actions....why should she be penalized for expressing her sentiments when the guy who beat her dad still roams around free??!!!

  15. MNDF spokesperson said “The MNDF does not support violence and will never support it,” C'mon! I have a few relatives who have been beaten on the head and other who have got fractures on their hands during arrest by the MNDF guys. Don't tell me MNDF doesn't support violence! They surely doesn't condemn it!

  16. Everything will be documented and everyone will pay, from the goon who wields the baton to the old codger calling the shots.

    Next time if Anni asks for "hiththiri", he will himself be removed. There must be no reconciliation with these animals. Reconciliation can only happen with those who express remorse. This was Anni's mistake, offering amnesty to those who were unrepentant. What a costly mistake that was.

  17. Police actions on February 8th opened the door for unfounded accusations such as this to make its way into the media.

    There is no proof at all that security officials had hit this old man. However any speculation about police brutality will be swallowed up by MDP supporters given the current climate.

    The sad thing is MDP numbers, especially in the Nasheed faction are plunging. These citizens need protection from the various activities that Nasheed is forcing them to take part in to protect his own interests. A viable opposition needs to stand up and protect the interests of those who do not support the parties in government.

    Sadly Nasheed is not the leader for the job. If only MDP could free itself from his grasp and regain enough public confidence to contest elections.

  18. dhonthu geyga oh,vaabaaa boa felhuneee, adhi ves goy kuda kamun daaathi, sarukaaruge rangalhu magaaameh dhari ah libuneeema ves neyngunu ulheykah, ameena ashaaa dhunthu akah. rah rashun kudhin genes bika haaalu jahsamun kiyavaaa dhey sho kiyaigen, instigate kuraneee human bombs ah vaaan with mdp.

  19. i was following that days events online and on t.v.
    the live blogs which ran from online news papers reported that there was a strife among mdp protesters and this guy was hit on head.
    maybe the journalists were wrong and maybe the mdp activists are right. we dont know. thats why, we need this to be investigated. its highly unprofesional for this particular army personel to go on social media creating hatred against her own institution. and its most unethical regarding her medical profesion. how can she act as a doctor and treat army personels if she is so much prejudiced against them? wont she take revange on the patients? removing her from the top position of MNDF medical service is a good move on their part in order to save the sick army personels from being deliberately harmed by this doctors prejudiced views.

  20. @Haja

    You speak of the army as if its a private company. Its an organisation run by public funds. Funds that belong to us the people, not the uniformed officers. her studies were funded by the government, not the MNDF. So no, she has the right to speak out against MNDF if she feels they have violated the rights of others.

    Your comments represent the view of those who oppressed us and continue to oppress us. You are entiltled to your views but I would like to point out that people with the thinking you have are a dying breed. Freedom is in the air. The old order is rapidly disintegrating not just here but else where in the world where people have been denied their basic right to freedom of expression.

  21. @Nadaal

    Good for you, Nadall. You are absolutely right. Dr Thahsyna is a hero for finding the courage to stand up for her father knowing full well there will be severe repercussions. Well done, Dr Thahsyna

  22. MNDF acts like big power. This army can be destroyed by any average Banana republic army in matter of 3 hours, just like previous take over by some rag tag rebels in 80s. MNDF can only terrorize innocent Maldivian civilians, they will not be able to stand against any external threat. Army brass is full of corrupt Gayoum cronies who carried out the coup.

  23. Let’s face the reality, we know where the problem lies in the Maldives is. It is people of Maldives, they are not strong enough educationally, psychologically and culturally to be free people. Let’s go back to dictatorship but a better one who holds universal values, like someone who is not religious, a humanist person. It is not easy now. The most dangerous animals are on loose in a contemporary world. But there should be a way to put up a dictator, and slowly polish the brain of these dangerous people with fine education, and create a service industry with most highly motivated work force. The first step should be to separate state and religion, and privatized every institution including security and justice. So all these important areas will be depoliticized

  24. @ ayya
    no i dont speak the army as a private company.
    the problem is when you enlist in the army you agree to give up certain freedoms of your own. you are supposed to adhere to a certain code of conduct.
    for example, in this instance, this army personels father got attacked under controversal circumstances. the journalists on spot that day reported that there was some in-fighting withing mdp protesters and he was hit by them. while mdp activists who are notoriously famous for their fact twisting are claiming an army assult. now if she was a decent officer she would have tried to find the truth, by going to the courts, human rights comission, etc. she would have exhausted all the windows to get justice including internal mechanisms within the army before lashing out like that.
    and in no circumstance you are supposed to say things like, 'hey look how nice i'm treating you guys but look what you are doing'. as a doctor you took an oath and you are supposed to treat your patients nicely. now she being so predjudiced, it will be difficult to go and seek a treatment from her, being an army personel... so the decision to remove her from that top position is the right one.
    and also she wrote "every civilian has the right to express their views". now, hold on! she is not a civilian she is from military. and coming from the military she cant just go and defame the whole institute based on a mere UNPROVEN accusation.
    now, this is the way things are done in other countries as well. the case of bradley manning of US, where the solder is simply suspected of leaking some documents being held in solitary confinement is not the best, but a clear example.

  25. The issue here is of military discipline. I agree on disciplinary action being taken against officers that show unprofessional behavior (an overly emotional reaction from her part?).

    However there should be equity/equality in meting out such punishments. The MNDF personal who were running all around town behaving equally, if not more unprofessionally on 7th Feb should also be similarly disciplined.

  26. any bloodshed is by police and MNDF ? any right thing happening in this country is by MDP and Anni?

    Anything which contradict with MDP opinion is biased ?

    Anyone who does not agree with Anni voice is " Baaghee" . Is this country belong to MDP and Anni ?

    I am confused and feel like that to become a true Maldivian that Anni is forcing people to be part of MDP and move around with the cult.

  27. @maree

    It was the dictatorship of Maumoon Abdul Gayoom which made sure that our people "are not strong enough educationally, psychologically and culturally to be free people" as you have said.

    It is the NATURE of dictatorships to keep the citizens in the country oppressed, intimidated, disempowered. It is an essential strategy of dictators to ensure we don't get an education that will open our minds to all the things they do to weaken our spirit, kill our dreams, stifle our ambitions and corrupt our soul.

    Your comment describes yourself, don't you think? It reflects that you have been unable to break out of the shackles that Gayoom's systematic abuse of power created.

    It is my belief that we have the capacity to transcend the legacy of disempowerment and victimisation that Gayoom has left us and is working very hard to reinstate in our country.
    What is required is us choosing to take a stand for ourselves and others to exercise our fundamental rights.

    But to make that choice ofcourse we have to break through the fear, the apathy, the lies, and the corruption and throw away the masks we have had to have to survive in this brutal society that Gayoom created.

    Maree, I urge you to take this stand. Maree, take a stand, join the movement of the brave warriors of democracy in our nation. We must use the momentum we have to push for a political solution that will be sustainable. A sustainable political solution can be found only through our vote. We MUST have a government that is elected by our people. Dr Waheed must resign.

  28. Hajja and tsk tsk.

    Do some justice for yourself and get a life!

    All this mongering to make two minuses a plus like in the Algebra, cannot be made a reality when the gravity of injustice done is weighed on the scale!

    And this soldier is very true to her belief and I salute her as a Maldivian!

    However much MNDF Spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Abdul Raheem tries to, and however much the MNDF does to nullify their actions in this matter, the fact this Soldier of the Maldives said -

    “I don’t believe expressing my sentiments about my father being beaten up unlawfully is ‘being political’,” she wrote. “What is wrong is wrong no matter who does it. And we should not hide these unlawful acts, in order to make people responsible for their actions.”

    is very true!

    And this -

    " “The MNDF does not support violence and will never support it,” he said. “We have been telling our officers continuously that no harm should be caused to anyone. We have internal mechanisms to investigate such allegations and take measures.” "

    is very lame and unpalatable!

    MNDF we see today is becoming more of a militia rather than the defenders of this nation!

    I am stunned by the news that MNDF is going into a joint venture with this government on prospects of going into tourism business on what ever basis!

    This truly is injustice!

  29. @hajja you are getting it wrong. I am a medical person myself and we don't take revenge on anyone based on color, religion, sexual orientation, if they can afford or not and definitely not for political affiliation.

    And also, I was there at the time this happened and there was no strife between the protesters. Everyone including Dr Thahsynas father had one voice and that was against police brutality and against the coup.

  30. Life comes first, whatever the status of the victim.

    It is disgusting to reads comments from the likes of 'Hajja'. Dear lady, either you have major problems in your life that triggers pain, or you are just uneducated girl with nothing to do but a house slave.

    Do you know how many patients this doctor has attended to? One day she may save your child, mother or yourself in times of emergency. So please, be a good muslim and dont just blut out anything for the sake of writing. It hurts others...

    The decision MNDF has taken is WRONG but since our civil and military judicial systems are corrupted...the men in power will have what they want. That is part of mordern democracy in countries where people take spontaneous actions without thinking.

    Wake up lady....

  31. @Facts

    Very truly expressed and said!

    People with "overdoses" would either die, if not, it will take time to wake up!

  32. lol
    the level of personel attacks aginst me is astounding.
    well, a bit about myself. i'm a second year medical student doing my course in a nearby asian country and i'm currently appearing in my 1st prof exams. my written has finished and my vivas start after the eid.
    as i was saying in my previous comments i condemn the attack on her father. but we dont really know who attacked him. it needs an investigation. but without doing that, this army doctor lashing out against the army is very unprofessional. and the things she wrote about giving treatment to the MNDF personels and their families is unethical and comprises the doctor patient relationship which she is supposed to uphold. so the decision by the army to dismiss her from the top position of their medical service is understandable.
    thanks all.

  33. Read through all comments, powerful stuff there!

    On this occasion, comments that hit me hardest were...

    ..."we maldivians are one family..." (Naada)

    ..."No good deed goes unpunished... (International Observer)

    ..."The army should condemn their officers beating up poor citizens for expressing their views..." (Ahmed)

    ..."MNDF can only terrorize innocent Maldivian civilians, they will not be able to stand against any external threat.... (Gaaand e Rasool)

    ..."Reconciliation can only happen with those who express remorse..." (Peasant)

    ..."we have to break through the fear, the apathy, the lies, and the corruption and throw away the masks we have had to have to survive..." Dhireyshey Magey Qaum

    ..."It is my belief that we have the capacity to transcend the legacy of disempowerment and victimisation that Gayoom has left us and is working very hard to reinstate in our country...."Dhireyshey Magey Qaum)

    These powerful words, and I have only selected a few for spaces sake, ALL the comments are awesome, are flames! This is the blazing bonfire of unquenchable human dignity, the power of ideals, beliefs, so passionately expressed! The spirit of the Dhivehin is ALIVE and FREE, and can never be thrown back into the darkness of slavery by would be tyrants again!

    So all you wanna be tyrants, BE WARNED by this explosion of creative humanity in these comments, and others!

  34. Oh and... also loved (FACTS)...Life comes first, whatever the status of the victim!

  35. @ Haja

    I think you have missed the point.
    What you suggest in your comments is that if you are in the armed forces you have to keep silent about all the wrongs they commit. That is condoning criminal behaviour.Dr Thahsyna chose not to do that when she expressed her disgust at how her father was treated. She is truly a hero.

    Our uniformed officers who forced an elected President to resign under duress and those who supported these officers as well as those hundreds of uniformed officers who have for six months protected the coup administration betrayed their oath to protect us. They are traitors. They have compromised their integrity with their allegiance to the coup leaders and coup administration.

    If our uniformed officers have any sense they will take off their badges and uniforms and go home.

  36. I hate to say that Hajja is right in this instance. The problem is not that the good doctor raised this issue. She should have raised this issue and for certain she should have filed for a Board of Inquiry against the soldier who did it.
    The problem was that the military code of conduct. She cannot be commenting in public while she is a serving officer.
    This has got nothing to do with brutality or freedom of speech.
    There is a proper procedure to do this in the military. In fact any military. What they certainly do not have it to take it to the social media. That is a gross violation of military conduct. The same as the soldier who hit her father.
    When you wear the uniform of the military all or most of your freedom goes away with it.
    Unfortunately for a lot of the people, they do not understand the military code. If they take their badges and go home, it would be called desertion and and could be punished by facing a firing squad.

  37. Dear hajja. You delivered a personal attack against all the honest and patriotic MNDF personnel in Maldives.

    Now suck it up when others treat you as what you are - a colonialist, a oppressor and a mouthpiece of tyranny. You can't deal with it? Then stop your attack against the People of Maldives.

  38. @tsk tsk, why don't you get up from your armchair, and next time there is a demonstration go and have a look from afar, and see how these professional MNDF and Police guys behave towards protesters, who are well within their constitutional right to protest. All the videos and eye witnesses can't be lying. Time and time again the security forces have used undue force and inflicted injuries on Maldivians. It is ok to disagree with President Nasheed or MDP and dismiss their calls for early elections, but don't be so blind as to look the other way when your fellow Maldivians are getting beaten up, just because their political views differ from yours.

  39. @ Hajja

    I think if the person who got injured, and her daughter says uniformed personnel are the ones who inflicted the injury we could take their word for it. Specially in light of the fact that Dr Thahsyna was risking this when she said it. Plus the way things are going now, it is not so farfetched to think a security force guy injured a protester as it is almost a daily occurrence now, and a lot of it has been captured on video.

  40. @ jameel, ah finally someone seems to get what i was trying to tell (with my imperfect english). thanks.
    @ziyadh, wow! i think its way too blown up. i was criticizing this one particular doctor here. she represent the profession which i belong to and serves in an army which represent my country. i have a right to do that. also, let me reiterite here my utter respect to the honest army personels and the fellow citizens of maldives.
    @hathim. no, we can not simply take the word of the injured or his daughter nowadays given the polarised nature of things. and yes its not far fetched for a security personal to brutully injure a protestor. similarly given the violent nature of the protesters themselves, its not far fetched to believe that they may have injured him in a squabble. hence the need for an investigation before an all out assault on social media..

  41. MNDF soldiers themselves will decide whether the orders they get is lawful or not. Once that ruling is made by the soldier, he can act on the order. If the order is deemed unlawful, it can be disobeyed and soldiers in general can join the group in mutiny. This has been justified by so called "top" lawyer Nasheed and all soldiers are urged to respect it for peace and harmony of Maldives.

    "TOP" drunk with greed for cash

  42. whatever the facts in this case, Dr Thahseena due to the emotional circumstances surrounding this is in no position to function normally and see her patients, She should be suspended till the investigation is over.


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