Police Integrity Commission requests PG prosecute former Deputy Commissioner Rishwan

The Police Integrity Commission (PIC) has concluded its investigation into complaints filed by several individuals claiming they were unlawfully arrested and mistreated in custody in July 2010, requesting former Police Deputy Commissioner Mohamed Rishwan be prosecuted for alleged violation of the Police Act.

According to local media citing the PIC investigation report, Rishwan admitted to giving the order to his subordinates to cut the hair of several individuals arrested during a special operation, including minors.

PIC Chairwoman Shahindha Ismail did not respond to Minivan News at the time of press.

Rishwan meanwhile resigned from the post of Deputy Commissioner on July 12 this year, informing local media that he wished to spend more time with his family.

In July last year, police and the Maldives National Defense Force (MNDF) arrested almost 60 people, including children, in a joint special operation launched to curb the rise in gang violence.

Many arrested at the time claimed that their mobile phones and personal belongings were confiscated and not returned when they were released.

Almost everyone arrested in the operation was released without any charges.

A number of those arrested claimed they were mistreated and abused in custody, including being forced to remove their clothes, blindfolded and beaten.

“I was arrested while I was on the way to Dharumavantha Scool to get a document,” one of those arrested told Minivan News in July 2010. “While I was waiting near the traffic lights on Sosun magu, two policemen and two MNDF officers told me to be freeze, came up behind me and handcuffed me and my friend.”

“I asked them on what charges they were arresting me, and where they were taking me, and they said they needed me to clarify some information.”

He said the officers pushed him into a police bus and blindfolded him with his hands tied with clips.

“They took me to a place and removed my silver ear-rings, my bracelets, necklace and sunglasses,” he claimed. “Then they took me to a place and removed the blindfold on my eye, and ordered me to remove my clothes. I refused, but I had no other choice so I did, and they told me to bend over. They harassed me verbally and physically.”

He said the officers were covering their faces.

“After checking me they blindfolded me again, and then took me to somewhere else. I asked them where they were taking me, they said that I should speak only when I am spoken to,” he said. “They pushed me into another room, where they trimmed my hair. When I tried to refuse, they hit beat me.”