MPs have today condemned the stabbing of Maldivian Democratic Party MP Alhan Fahmy, decrying the apparent impunity enjoyed by the criminal gangs deemed responsible for the attack.
Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party member Mohamed ‘Colonel’ Nasheed called for community to root out those who use local gangs to carry out politically motivated attacks.
Saturday’s attack has been described by Alhan’s family and colleagues as premeditated and political in nature.
Meanwhile, one of the three men arrested in relation to the stabbing of MP Alhan Fahmy has been released from police custody today.
Mohamed Kinanath Ahmed was arrested shortly after the incident. Police have confirmed that, after appearing before judges yesterday evening, Kinanath was released before being re-arrested the same evening, then released once more this morning.
Kinanath is the brother of Hussain Humam Ahmed, who currently faces the death sentence for the murder of Progressive Party of Maldives MP Dr Afrasheem Ali in October 2012.
Alhan is reported to be recovering from surgery in Colombo after receiving a stab wound to the back while in the popular Breakwater cafe in Malé.
Speaking with local media today, members of Alhan’s family have said that the surgery to repair damage to his spine was a success, though whether he recovers fully from paralysis in his right leg is yet to be determined.
Police arrested one man at the scene, with a further two individuals – including Kinanath – being taken into custody the same evening. Two suspects remain in custody, having had their detention extended for 10 days.
Kinanath is well known to authorities, previously having been listed as one of the most dangerous gangsters in the capital. He is said to be a member of Malé’s prominent Masodi gang.
Debating a motion condemning the attack in the People’s Majlis today, MPs expressed alarm at the dangerous gang culture in the country’s capital.
“There is no motive for gangs to attack and kill Alhan or the Ungoofaaru constituency MP Dr Afrasheem. I say this, because there are no reasons for people like Alhan or Afrashim to have issues with the gangs,” said Mohamed ‘Colonel’ Nasheed.
The real killers hidden behind a curtain includes businessmen and politically motivated killings through paid gangs, he continued.
“We have to find the Ace hiding behind the curtain if we want to reform this community.”
Maldivian Democratic Party MP Ilyas Labeeb suggested that gangs were not hesitant to commit such acts in public because they are protected. He also warned that, at this point, gang members would not hesitate to enter the Majlis chambers and slaughter MPs.
A 2012 report by the Asia Foundation found that Malé’s 20-30 gangs worked closely with politicians:
“Political and business elites exploit gangs to carry out a range of illegal activities that serve their political or business interests in exchange for financing the gangs,” read the report.
After being sentenced to one year’s imprisonment for possession of a knife in 2011, Kinanath was released under the President Mohamed Nasheed’s ‘Second Chance’ programme, Sun Online has today reported.
After the ousting of Nasheed in February 2012, the programme – designed to improve rehabilitation and reduce recidivism – was blamed by then Home Minister Dr Mohamed Jameel Ahmed for a rise in crime rates. The programme was subsequently shut down.
The new administration of President Abdulla Yameen – in which Jameel serves as vice president – has adopted its own policies to reintegrate offenders deemed not a threat to society, involving the commuting of sentences and the removal of criminal records.