PPM Vice President Umar Naseer sues police and Maldives National Defence Force

Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) Vice President Umar Naseer, formerly Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) Vice President prior to his eviction from the party, has filed a suit in the civil court against the police and Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF).

Speaking at a press conference yesterday, Umar said that he decided to sue the MNDF for unlawfully arresting Chief Judge of the Criminal Court Abdulla Mohamed, and police for not working to set Judge Abdulla free.

He filed the suit against Police Commissioner Ahmed Faseeh, Deputy Commissioner Ismail Atheef and Deputy Commissioner Ahmed Muneer, and on the MNDF side, he sued Chief of Defence Force Major General Moosa Ali Jaleel and Vice Chief Brigadier Faruhath Shaheer.

Umar claimed at the press conference that superiors at the MNDF had been giving unlawful orders, and that it was one reason why he felt he had to file the suit.

He claimed that if the court rules that the senior officers have been giving unlawful orders they would be dismissed from their jobs.

Criminal Court Chief Judge Abdulla Mohamed was arrested by the MNDF on the evening of Monday, January 16, in compliance with a police request, after he attempted to block his summons in the high court.

After he was arrested the Supreme Court declared that the arrest was unlawful and ordered his immediate release, but the MNDF did not respond.

Later the High Court ordered the MNDF three times to produce him at the High Court, but the MNDF did not respond.

Yesterday the Human Rights Commission of the Maldives (HRCM) was summoned to parliament’s Independent Commission’s Committee. President of the HRCM Mariyam Azra told the MPs that there were “issues with the judiciary”.

She also said that HRCM had forwarded these issues  to concerned institutions such as Judicial Service Commission (JSC), which has halted its investigation of Judge Abdulla after he obtained a civil court injunction against his own investigation.

Azra told the committee that HRCM had the legal authority to investigate human rights violations.

Recently Umar has filed two cases against President Mohamed Nasheed at the police.

PPM Spokesperson Ahmed Mahlouf was unavailable at time of press.

A police spokesperson said the police have not officially received any information about the suit.


No speedboat available near Huraa after drowning incident, say police

No speedboat was available near Huraa following the drowning of four students and principal of Hiriya School, Police Chief Inspector Abdulla Nawaz told media today.

Police were informed of the incident at 9:48am in the morning and the police duty officer immediately called the Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF), and was informed that MNDF officers were on it, Nawaz said.

The four female students and the principal of ‘Hiriya’ drowned while on a fisheries science study trip. Police and MNDF were called immediately but were criticised for being unable to reach the island until long after the incident.

About an hour after the drownings, the bodies of the students and principal were brought to Male’ on a speedboat from nearby Four Season Kuda Hura resort.

Speaking in a press conference, Nawaz said that information of the incident was passed to the police station on the island of Himmafushi, approximately 3 km from Hura.

Nawaz said that Himmafushi Police Station’s Head tried to hire a speedboat from the island but because it was Friday morning, no speedboats were available.

He said police then called the Island Council of Hura and requested they make a request to Four Seasons Kuda Hura resort, the council had already done so.

Nawaz said that although the police could not arrive to the island on time, it was to be noted that police went to the jetty in Male’ and received the bodies, and carried them to the hospital.

Nawaz also said that police were still investigating the incident and had not been able to question any students who witnessed the incident, as they were traumatised and not ready to talk about it.

Meanwhile, today the parliament’s ”241′ Security Services Committee summoned Police Commissioner Ahmed Faseeh and Chief of Defence Force Major General Moosa Ali Jaleel to question them about the lateness in providing service of the forces when called for help.

Newly-formed Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) MP and Media Coordinator Ahmed Nihan told Minivan News that Faseeh and Moosa were summoned to the committee to clarify the truth of the various accusations that the forces had neglected their duty.

“Nawaz failed to tell the media how long it took the police to reach the island, and he has not answered queries made by the journalists,” he said. “That’s why it was important to sit down with them and clarify the media reports and other allegations on police.”

Nihan said that this was a national issue but “the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) MPs disrupted the meeting today and the meeting had to be cancelled.”

He alleged that the government had poorly treated the family of the only girl who survived in the incident, Hawwa Ali, by asking them to pay her medical bills for the first two days.

“But the girl happens to be in my constituency and I called government senior officials and requested them to do it a better way, and now I think it is arranged and the government is assisting the family with everything,” he claimed.

Nihan said that the girl’s family had requested the government to move her to another ward because she was currently in the children’s ward at IGMH and the sound of children cry was making her recall the incident.

“She was the only person who saw everything, she heard the children crying for help, she saw the girls drowning right in front of her,” Nihan said.

Hawwa was a friend of Aishath Shaniha, who died in the incident. Hawwa almost drowned but was rescued by the school principal and was holding a rope while the principal attempted to rescue the other students that were drowning.

Nihan claimed that police “would have had 20 speedboats in the islands” during the former government.


Salaf sends letter to police requesting information on alleged missionaries

Religious NGO Jamiyyathul Salaf yesterday sent a letter to the police, requesting Commissioner of Police Ahmed Faseeh to disclose information regarding alleged missionaries in the Maldives.

Salaf’s letter requested the commissioner disclose information on an alleged missionary couple who were caught by the Maldives Customs Services and deported.

‘’Two weeks after the couple was deported, another missionary was arrested in Baa Atoll, with Christian books written in Dhivehi, and you have said you were investigating the case,’’ the letter said. “Therefore, this NGO — which researches these people – has sent a letter requesting you share information about these cases from last year, October 29.’’

Salaf’s letter claimed the police did not replied to a earlier letter, in which they noted the arrest of another alleged missionary, named David Balk. Balk was previously living in Thaa Atoll Kinbidhoo last year, and left the Maldives on December 12.

“The aforementioned person mysteriously managed to flee the country. Jamiyyathul Salaf is very seriously concerned that adequate measurements are not taken against such crimes, and therefore, [police] are not providing the protection to the religion of Islam as stated under the constitution of the Maldives.’’

“We request you to reply to our recent letter and now that we have alleged that no lawful action was taken against people like David, and others who have violated the religious unity of the country and the constitution, and we request you investigate and reveal who was responsible for this.’’

‘’Furthermore,” wrote Salaf, “the above mentioned David was reportedly found recently in the Maldives, after the Immigration Department claimed he was deported. Therefore, we would like to inform you that this is also a case we are eager to investigate. Pictures of people who commit such unlawful crimes should be revealed to the media to alert the citizens of the Maldives.’’

Police Sub-Inspector Ahmed Shiyam said that police will not disclose information of an investigation to any party “unless it is a party to which police should disclose information.”

“Police always investigate and deport missionaries as soon as possible if they are expats,’’ said Shiyam. “If they are a Maldivian we will take necessary actions against them as well.’’

He said that all the missionary cases [mentioned] were investigated and that police took lawful action against the individuals concerned.