Abdulla ‘Jaa’ Javid released from custody, brother detained by police

Abdulla ‘Jaa’ Javid has been released from custody following his 45-day detention in connection with the murder of MP Dr Afrasheem Ali last year.

On the day of his release (January 17) however, Javid’s brother Shahin Mohamed was taken away by police whilst waiting with Javid’s family outside of the court.

Chairperson of Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) ‘Reeko’ Moosa Manik – Javid’s father-in-law – told Minivan News on Thursday that the police “took away” Mohamed without any warning.

“He was waiting for his brother to come out of court and the police came along and took him away. He was waiting silently and they took him without giving a reason,” Manik claimed.

Regarding Mohamed being held by police, Maldives Police Service (MPS) Spokesperson Sub-Inspector Hassan Haneef said that police would not be releasing any information of the Afrasheem murder case due to the “sensitivity” of the investigation.

Minivan News has since learned that Mohamed was released from police custody three hours after he was taken away by police.

Local media reported that Javid was released after he was brought to court to extend his detention period following the expiry of his previous term.

Javid’s lawyer, according to Manik, said the judge stated there was “no way” Javid could be kept in custody any longer.

“If they had any evidence they would have kept him there,” Manik added.

Former Deputy Prosecutor General Hussain Shameem said that Javid’s 45-day detention was “unreasonable” given that two people had already been charged of the crime.

“As for the arrest it is a constitutional right of the accused – and detained – for his case to be processed through the criminal justice system within a ‘reasonable time’,” Shameem added.

Javid had previously attempted to file a case to High Court claiming that the extension of detention order issued against him by the Criminal Court was unlawful.

However, the High Court ruled that there was no reasonable ground to support this adding that police claimed to have a phone call recording that supported their accusations of Javid’s involvement in the murder.

In December last year the MDP accused the police of attempting to pin Afrasheem’s murder of MDP members instead of going after those guilty of the crime, a statement seen by local media has read.

The party further reportedly stated that police had detained two of its members Mariyam Naifa and Alli ‘Smith’ Hashim for an extended period of time before releasing them without any charges.

Minivan News is awaiting for additional information from Director Department of Judicial Administration Ahmed Maajid regarding the release of Javid.

‘A desperate plea to help free my husband’

In a letter obtained by Minivan News, Javid’s wife Mida Moosa pleaded for the release of her husband claiming that the family were “very confused” regarding the information they had received about his detention.

The letter claims that Javid’s arrest took place hours before parliament was scheduled to finalise a decision on whether the proposed no-confidence vote against President Mohamed Waheed Hassan Manik should be held via secret votes.

Upon Javid’s initial extension of custodial detention, the letter alleges that Javid was kept in solitary confinement and that this matter was taken to the High Court.

“At the High Court hearing on December 13, MPS stated that Javid was kept in solitary confinement most likely because of an error made by the prison he was kept in,” the letter claims.

After the first 14 days of Javid’s detention the letter notes that he was brought back to court and on December 19 he was given another 15 day extension on his detention.

According to the letter, the prosecutors had brought a request form to court by the MPS stating that Javid was being kept in prison “for his own safety and to interrogate him on some evidence they had regarding the case.”

Afrasheem’s murder

Commissioner of Police Abdulla Riyaz has claimed that the murder of MP for Ungoofaaru constituency Dr Afrasheem Ali was a well-planned murder and insisted it was politically motivated.

The Commissioner alleged that the assassins were offered MVR 4 million (US$260,000) and that 200 items were collected as forensic and digital evidence.

“Over 500 hours of CCTV footage have been analysed, more than 100 people have been interviewed and about 13,000 phone call recordings have been analysed out of which 12,000 were from one single tower,” Riyaz said.

Afrasheem was killed on October 1. His wife discovered the body lying on the staircase of their home.

Dr Afrasheem was elected to parliament in 2009 as a member of the then-opposition Dhivehi Rayithunge Party (DRP).

Following the opposition’s split, Afrasheem sided with the Progressive Party of the Maldives (PPM) of former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, and faded into the political background.

Widely considered an Islamic moderate, Dr Afrasheem took outspoken and controversial positions on issues such as allowing the playing of music, and praying next to the deceased.


MJA condemns parliament’s Privilege Committee’s decision to summon DhiTV editor

The Maldives Journalists Association (MJA) has condemned parliament’s Privileges Committee’s decision to summon DhiTV Editor Midhath Hilmy for questioning, over an issue submitted to the committee by Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) Chairperson and MP ‘Reeko’ Moosa Manik.

Moosa submitted a complaint alleging that DhiTV had violated his and his family’s privacy and personal life in different reports broadcast by the organisation.

The MJA noted that it was the parliament that made laws to make the news organisations responsible and handed the work to another institution.

MJA claimed that the committee made the decision in violation of the regulation and procedures made to summon people to the parliament.

“If the committee should decide on a matter concerning the media it will be a huge challenge for the media and it could narrow freedom of press,” the MJA stated.

The MJA called for the matter to be instead submitted to an institution with oversight of the media.

Last year the DhiTV editor was summoned regarding the same issue. He told local media that he did not have anything to say on the matter because he already responded to the committee last year.


Transport minister to be summoned to committee over Israeli jet

Parliament’s National Security Committee has decided to summon Transport Minister Dr Ahmed Shamheed and senior officials of the Addu International Airport Company (AIAC) over the landing of a private Israeli jet in Gan, Addu City in May this year.

Newspaper Haveeru reported the committee’s chair MP “Reeko” Moosa Manik, chairperson of the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), as saying today that the officials were summoned in light of a resolution passed by parliament forbidding Israeli flights to land in the Maldives until the National Security Committee reached a decision on the issue.

Moosa added that the committee has not yet set a date to question the officials. The formerly ruling MDP presently has a voting majority in the National Security Committee.

Former Transport Minister Adil Saleem was questioned by the National Security Committee after the Deputy Leader of the Adhaalath Party, Dr Mauroof Hussain, alleged that the MDP government had decided to authorise Israeli national airline to fly to the Maldives and allow an Israeli military post to be established in the country.

Adil Saleem had denied the allegations when he was summoned to the committee.

Banning Israeli flights to the Maldives was among five demands made at a ‘mega-protest’ on December 23, organised by a coalition of eight parties and religious NGOs to ‘Defend Islam’ against the allegedly liberal policies of former President Mohamed Nasheed.

Following the change of government on February 7, the ruling coalition-dominated parliament passed a resolution on April 25 preventing Israeli national airline El Al from operating scheduled flights to the Maldives.


MDP Chair would quit party over its excessive “restraint”

Chairman of the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) ‘Reeko’ Moosa Manik has told local media that  he would consider quitting the party should it continue to take a “passive” approach to political opponents in the future.

He alleged that a previous strategy of “restraint” and “caring” has been qualities that had led political opponents to oust former President Mohamed Nasheed.

Local newspaper Haveeru has reported that Moosa, speaking to private broadcaster Raajje TV, claimed that while the MDP’s focus on “restraint” and “caring” had been an important focus whilst in government, it had not ultimately led to a “positive outcome” for the party.

He contended that, even in cases where religious scholars such as Sheikh Ilyas Hussan had “called for our heads”, the former government had shown restraint.

“But if we treated them strictly, maybe the outcome would have turned out differently,” he was quoted as saying.


Reeko Moosa summoned by police for “disrespecting judiciary”

Chairman of the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) ‘Reeko’ Moosa Manik has been summoned to appear before the police at 4:00pm Tuesday, in relation to two cases regarding “disrespect of the judiciary”.

Moosa, who was issued with an official note requesting his presence at 1:30pm Monday afternoon, told local media that he was unaware of any cases involving him.

“This is a tactic to intimidate me and the MDP members. I also believe that this an attempt by some of the parties in the coalition government to impede the current Leaders’ Dialogue,” Moosa told Haveeru.

Moosa was not responding to calls at the time of press.

The summons comes the day after Moosa participated in the first round of party talks following the publication of the Commission of National Inquiry (CNI) report, which ruled February’s transfer of power to have been constitutional.

At yesterday’s ‘Leaders Dialogue’, Moosa requested clarification of the MDP’s position in the apparently-legitimised government.

Police Spokesman, Sub-Inspector Hassan Haneef, told Minivan News today that the cases were lodged on March 21 and April 24 this year.

Haneef said that the cases of disrespecting the judiciary related to comments Moosa had made during political rallies.

Reform of the judiciary was one of the primary concerns of the previous MDP government, eventually culminating in the military’s arrest of Chief Justice Abdulla Mohamed in January this year.

This incident lent greater fervour to anti-government demonstrations which peaked on the night of February 6, prompting then-President Mohamed Nasheed’s resignation the next day amid a police and military mutiny.

Home Minister at the time, Hassan Afeef, accused Judge Abdulla of, amongst other things, ordering unlawful investigations, disregarding the rulings of higher courts and releasing dangerous suspects who went on to commit further crimes.

The Judge in court quashed his own summons by police, leading Nasheed’s administration to turn to the military to make the arrest. The CNI report described that arrest of Judge Abdulla as “an unconstitutional and unlawful act.”

Nasheed, former Defence Minister Tholath Ibrahim Kaleyfaan, and three Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) officers are currently awaiting trial in relation to Judge Abdulla’s arrest.

After the release of the CNI report, Nasheed requested that this trial be expedited and has been reported as being keen to have his day in court.

The CNI also found that acts of brutality had been committed by the police on February 6, 7 and 8 and urged that these instances be investigated.

Moosa himself was left in a critical condition after being brutally beaten by police officers on February 8.

Despite the findings of the report that the police mutiny of February 6 did not amount to a coup, the past week has seen continued discussion of the politicisation of the police force.

“Every citizen would want to shape the Maldives Police Service in a way to make it free from political influence,” Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party Leader Ahmed Thasmeen Ali reportedly said on Saturday.


DRP accused of controlling police days after being accused of undermining them

Chairman of the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) Moosa ‘Reeko’ Manik last night claimed that the police were firmly under the control of the Dhivehi Rayithuge Party (DRP) leader Ahmed Thasmeen Ali, reports Haveeru.

Speaking at Usfasgandu, Moosa alleged that both the Defence Minister Mohamed Nazim and the Commissioner of Police Abdulla Riyaz are members of the DRP.

“I am warning Thasmeen, even if it’s the [MDP] party’s chairperson, former chairperson or even a member of the party, we will start viewing DRP in another light if they are dragged to the Police station every second day for no apparent reason,” Moosa is reported to have said.

The speech followed the police’s questioning of MDP MP Mariya Didi on Tuesday relating to event which occurred after the police raided the MDP protest camp at Usfasgandu  on May 29.

“We have the courage to stand up to all the political parties,” he said.

Conversely, Dhivehi Qaumee Party (DQP) MP Riyaz Rasheed announced on Tuesday that the DRP was trying to undermine confidence in the police and the military

After blaming DRP MPs for allowing the MDPs proposal to discuss police brutality in the Majlis, Riyaz said that the DQP’s alliance with the DRP “no longer exists”.

Lat night, Moosa also claimed that both India and Sri Lanka were looking into the circumstances surrounding the resignation of former President Mohamed Nasheed who last week received the backing of more than 65 percent of his party’s members to become their presidential candidate in the next election.


MDP elects Nasheed as presidential nominee

The Maldivian Democratic Party’s (MDP) members have elected former President Mohamed Nasheed as the party’s candidate for the next presidential elections.

Nasheed stood unopposed for the presidential nomination, although MDP regulations state that sole candidates must receive the votes of at least 10 percent of the party’s membership.

The MDP’s current membership stands at 48,181 according the Election Commission (EC)’s figures, giving it the largest membership of any party in the country. Therefore Nasheed had to gain just over 4,800 votes to secure the nomination.

Following the final count of the 258 ballot boxes, Nasheed recorded 31,798 votes in favour to 269 against his being the party’s presidential candidate, after over two-thirds of the party’s membership turned out to vote. Chairperson candidate Moosa ‘Reeko’ Manik had 29,044 votes in favour to 2160 against, while Deputy Chairperson candidate Ali Shiyam had 563 in favour to 7 against.

The MDP has called for fresh elections on a regular basis since Nasheed’s resignation from the presidency on February 7 – a resignation he later claimed was made under duress. The party has held regular demonstrations since that time calling for early elections.

The current President, Dr Mohamed Waheed Hassan, has stated repeatedly that the earliest date elections can be held is July 2013 according to the constitution. He recently also told UK media that he refused to resign and hand power to the speaker, a decision which would also trigger an early election. Speaking to the BBC last week, Waheed also said that holding elections before key institutions can be strengthened would be hazardous to the stability of the country.

Despite the questioned  legitimacy of the current President , MDP spokesman Hamid Abdul Ghafoor said the party had never wanted to return Nasheed to the Presidency without fresh polls.

“The remedy is election, not reinstatement,” he said.

Ghafoor also stated his belief that, with the reformed CNI due to begin its investigations soon, there was no reason for the MDP not to begin its election preparations.

Today’s internal elections decided upon a number of other key posts within the party including chairperson and deputy chairperson, as well as atoll constituency presidents and secretaries.

Polling took place around the country as well as in three locations around the capital Male’, including Male’ City Hall.

MP for the Hulhu-Henveiru constitutency in Male’ Moosa ‘Reeko’ Manik was standing uncontested for the role of party chairperson, having served in this position on an interim basis previously. The position of deputy chairperson was being vied for by Nasheed’s former economic advisor Ali Shiyam.

Both men also appeared to have achieved the 10 percent minimum vote at the time of press.


The elections come after a period of internal dissent within the party, culminating in a vote to oust the party president and vice president from their positions.

The MDP’s National Council met on April 30 to vote on the no-confidence motions against the President Dr Ibrahim Didi, and Vice President Alhan Fahmy.

Hamed Abdul Ghafoor said at the time that the motions had come after both men had been making statements considered to be against the official party line regarding the events surrounding Nasheed’s resignation, alleging they were trying to bring about a coup within the party.

A party resolution on February 8 had declared that the previous day’s events had amounted to a coup d’etat and that Nasheed and his cabinet should continue to sit in the party’s National Council as senior members of government.

The motions were approves by 95 percent of those present and both Didi and Fahmy have since left the MDP, joining the Jumhooree Party earlier this month.

Didi and Fahmy have criticised the internal democracy of the party, alleging that Nasheed’s authority within the party has become too great, blaming him for personally instigating their ejection.

“No one person or a group can hijack a party like that,” said Fahmy at a rally held to ‘free the MDP’ from Nasheed’s allegedly nefarious influence.

Didi and Fahmy have also been quoted in local media as describing Nasheed as a ‘spiritual leader’ who removes anybody that speaks out against him.

Last month, the pair also alleged that the recent removal of MDP General Secretary Hassan Shah, who subsequently moved to the JP, was intended to manipulate today’s elections

Fahmy is reported to have grouped Nasheed with former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, charging both men with “hijacking” Maldivian politics.

“These two people had hijacked the whole country’s political beliefs during the political turmoil in the country. This is not an idea anymore. Former President Gayoom and former President Nasheed are here now. The people need to understand that democracy is not something we get by following a certain person’s belief,” Haveeru reported Fahmy as saying in late May.

‘Reeko’ Moosa has since been called on any prospective candidates to replace the two deposed members to halt their campaigns whilst the party considers whether the posts of party President and Vice President are still needed.

Voting for these posts was scheduled for August 31.


Robbery targets offices of senior politicians and Six Senses group

Police are investigating a robbery that yesterday targeted a building containing offices belonging to Vice-President designate Waheed Deen, luxury resort operator Six Senses, and the Maldivian Democratic Party’s (MDP) Interim Chairperson Reeko Moosa Manik.

Police Spokesperson Sub-Inspector Hassan Haneef confirmed that police teams were currently investigating the thefts at the offices, which are all based in the Jazeera Building on Boduthakurufaanu Magu in Male’. However, Haneef was unable to confirm what had been taken during the raids or if anyone had been hurt as a result, adding that it was “too early” to establish whether there was a political motive to the crimes.

According to the local media, a large sum of money is reported to have been taken from the office of Bandos Island Resort, owned by Waheed Deen, whilst significant damage was said to have been caused to the properties targeted during the alleged break in.

Local media reported that a sum of around Rf 1 million was taken from the Bandos office, whilst two safes at the Six Senses office said to contain Rf 200,000 (US$13,000) and US$5000, were also emptied during the raid. Six Senses operates several of the country’s more upmarket properties, including Soneva Fushi.

News agencies said that no money was believed to have been taken from the offices of Reeko Moosa Manik’s Heavy Load company. However, electronic equipment including computers and fax machines were reportedly destroyed as well as official documents, including staff passports.

The intruders also reportedly left several messages for Moosa Manik including, “Moosa, you may have escaped this time but you will be killed,” and “We will vote for you next time if you put some cash next time”.


“We want to kill you. Do not think you can behave like you do and get away. You will have to die today”

Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP)’s interim chairperson MP Moosa ‘Reeko’ Manik has for the first time spoken to the media after he was brutally beaten up by the Maldives police during what was meant to be a “peaceful march around Male’” after yesterday’s MDP National Council meeting.

Manik, who was in critical condition when he was taken to the hospital late yesterday afternoon but had regained some stability, spoke to local media Raajje TV about how violently the police had dealt with him while he was accompanied by the former president Mohamed Nasheed and former party chairperson and MP Mariya Ahmed Didi.
Moosa said that when the police started beating the protesters and spraying pepper spray without warning and using excessive force in dismantling the protests Nasheed, Didi and himself had ran into a tile shop in the east of the local market area.

“While we were in there the police came, sprayed pepper spray and started beating us. We ran into the road, to the east of the market, and hid in a shop… selling  tiles… if… if I remember correctly. I walked in first followed by President Nasheed and Mariya. We went into the back and stayed in the storage area”, Moosa said with a weak voice.

Moosa continued that police officers addressed them with foul language when Nasheed asked the officers not to hurt them. The officers openly said that Moosa was on their “hit list” and that they wanted to kill him, before taking three to four punches on his face, Moosa said.

“….When they police looked at me [to hit me] the President said, ‘Don’t hurt [him]’ and they… hurled abuse at the President. Maari said the same thing. I said, ‘If you want to beat us beat me first’ and by then they had already hit me on the face three or four times. They pointed their fingers at me and said, ‘You are a person we want to kill’…” Moosa continued.

Although the police were beating him, Moosa said that an MNDF person came to his rescue and tried to stop the police officers. “They did not let me go and continued beating me. And I saw an MNDF [army] person. He ran to me hugged me and said, “don’t hit, and don’t hit!’ ”, Manik said.

Moosa said that the officers enjoyed taking turns hitting his genital area and one police officer who was in plain clothes tried to stab something (a stick or a pole) into his head, and he was fortunate enough to have ended up with a two inch gash on his head instead.

According to local media, Moosa’s family has said he has been flown to Singapore for further medical treatment. The MP for Hulhuhenveiru constituency, Moosa has been a vocal critic of former president Maumoon Abdul Gayyoom and the Chief Judge of the Criminal Court Abdulla Mohamed. He has also been active in MDP’s campaign to reform judiciary.

Interview transcript

“While we were in there the police came, sprayed pepper spray and started beating us. We ran into the road, to the east of the market, and hid in a shop… selling  tiles… if… if I remember correctly. I walked in first followed by President Nasheed and Mariya [Ahmed Didi]. We went into the back and stayed in the storage area.

“Police came in after a while and asked the people at the counter where Maryia and them were. When the people at the counter did not respond the police charged into the back of the store and I said to the President, “They are coming to kill us and so I will just let them do what they want to do” and I walked out. The president followed saying, “Moosa don’t go alone”, followed by Mariya.

“When they police at me [to hit me] the President said, “Don’t hurt [him]” and they… hurled abuse at the President. Maari said the same thing. I said, “If you want to beat us beat me first”, and by then they had already hit me on the face three or four times. They pointed their fingers at me and said, “You are a person we want to kill”. The army person? It was police… they were police not army personnel.

“It was a very narrow path and they pushed me out, beating me. They threw me out on the doorstep and hit me in the groin with their boots. Two policemen were holding my hands, spread, and one person held me by the back, and everyone (police) was beating me. The people on the dhonis [boats] saw everything. One person hit me here… on the ribs… with his boots. By the time I had my wits about me I could not breathe and I begged them to stop…. I pleaded that I was dying. They said, “We want to kill you. Do not think you can behave like you do and get away. You will have to die today”. They did not let me go and continued beating me. And I saw an MNDF [army] person. He ran to me hugged me and said, “Don’t hit, and don’t hit”.

“We reached MTCC [a local company] by then and they continued to beat me… I was surrounded. They were hurling abuse at me and spraying pepper spray into my eyes. One person forced my mouth open and sprayed… I fell over, coughing. The MNDF person was trying to protect me. Then came a police person in plain clothes… he was wearing a pair of shorts and a T-shirt… I know him. He jumped… and he tried to… and he said I want to embed this into your brain (probably a stick or a pole). It broke open a gash of about two inches and it hit the shoulder of the MNDF person. He was hurt too. And then… the blood was gushing out… and I fell onto the road. And they stomped onto my hand. They all seem to really enjoy hitting me in the groin.

“Then I did not know where they were taking me, two persons were dragging me by the hands. Then they got into a dispute within themselves. One person was saying not to hit me. With my knowledge, a bunch of them in Star Force attire, some in plain blue and another bunch of them in the… the dark blue uniform continued to beat me.

When the blood started flowing [from the groin] they asked me to, “Cover it with your hand… and you will die in a bit”. Then… then I did not know what they were saying. After that I did not know what was going on. By the time we reached the bus I had nothing left in me. There was a brother [relative] in the bus and that’s why I survived. When I got here I was in a lot of pain. Now… now… my spine hurts… it hurts a lot. And when I relieve myself I bleed. I am in a lot of pain. Insha Allah, I will be well soon.”