Police accused of false testimony against May Day detainees

First came a deafening shot. Then, police in riot gear charged into the crowd, shoving and pushing protesters back. But Hamid Shafeeu and his friends did not run. They were arrested in front of Minivan News journalists. Now a police officer has sworn Hamid threw bottles and stones at the riot police.

Some 193 protesters were arrested on May 1 when violent clashes broke out after a historic antigovernment protest. Scores were injured.

Protesters threw glass and plastic bottles, lead balls and rocks. Police used tear gas, pepper spray, stun grenades and made indiscriminate arrests.

The next day, the criminal court granted a blanket 15-day remand for 173 of the 193 detainees.

Hamid was held in police custody for 15 days in cramped conditions, and then transferred to house arrest for five days. He was released only today.

The high court, relying on police statements, previously rejected an appeal contesting the detention.

The 39-year-old businessman says he believes police are providing false testimony to jail him because of his vocal criticism of the government on Twitter.

Many others who were arrested at random or arrested for simply going to the protest now say police officers have accused them of assault.

The initial charges of disobedience to order carries a MVR3000 fine or six months in jail or house arrest or banishment, but attacking a police officer carries a MVR12, 000 fine and six months in jail.

It is not yet clear if the prosecutor general will file charges.

A police spokesperson has denied allegations of false testimony, but lawyers who have represented individuals arrested from past protests say the police routinely lie to keep dissidents in custody. Others have supported the claim, with the former chair of the police integrity watchdog saying several officers lied in the investigation into the transfer of power in February 7, 2012, and the brutal crackdown on protesters the next day.

A former policeman, meanwhile, said false testimony is indicative of the politicization of the force and the impunity riot police hold as very few are penalized for unlawful activities.


Testifying before a Commonwealth backed inquiry into the 2012 transfer of power, ex-police chief Ahmed Faseeh described the riot police’s tactics in controlling protests: “Their language was filthy, their vocabulary was obscene. If they got hold of someone, they hit them.”

The riot police, known as Specialist Operations or SO officers, were created by former president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom to quell pro-democracy protests in the mid 2000s. The hostility between SO officers and protesters continues to this day.

May Day detainees have reported verbal and physical abuse, while several individuals arrested on suspicion of assaulting a police officer on May Day said police cheered on as others beat them at the headquarters and threatened to kill them.

The police, however, have denied brutality and urged any victims to file complaints with oversight bodies.

Blogger Yameen Rasheed’s arrest was caught on camera. He was picked up on Chaandhanee Magu with several others at about 9pm, but the police are now accused him of throwing rocks and have placed him under house arrest. Yameen says he was walking to the Somerset Hotel in the area to meet a foreign journalist at the time of his arrest. The Indian reporter corroborates Yameen’s account.

Ahmed Naeem, a 25-year-old political science student, was arrested when he reportedly stepped in front of a police van. Of the 193 detainees, he is the only one remaining in police custody.

Lawyers say the police are now accusing him of breaking the van’s windows. According to his cellmates, police beat Ahmed severely at the time of his arrest, and his face was bruised and swollen for days.

Judges can only hold people in custody if further interrogation is needed, or if they are a danger to society, or if they may influence witnesses.

But lawyers claims judges remand dissidents for long periods of time to intimidate and harass them. The criminal court often holds protesters in custody for lengthier periods than those arrested for violent crimes, including murder, they said.

Lawyer Abdulla Haseen, who represented a close aide of ex-president Nasheed following her arrest from a protest in July 2012, said the police claimed in court that they had witnessed her throwing rocks. But Shauna Aminath’s arrest, which was broadcast live on television, showed the police drag her away without any provocation.

“An individual can be held in remand for a month, two months. Judges must verify and check police’s claims before approving long remands. Who will bear responsibility for all those lost weeks?” Haseen said.


The ex chair of the police integrity commission (PIC), Shahindha Ismail, said police officers had provided strikingly similar statements to the commission’s investigation into the February 8, 2012 crackdown “with the same phrases and words as if they were reading from a pre-prepared document.”

Although four of the five members of the then-PIC ruled police actions on February 8 as lawful, Shahindha said officers had “targeted attacks to cause immense harm to specific individuals.”

She said the squad must be disbanded and punished for unlawful behavior. She urged judges to verify police claims with photos and videos or statements by unbiased witnesses before approving requests for lengthy detentions.

In October, SO officers were accused of cutting down all of Malé City’s Areca palms. In January, they were accused of planting weapons at the ex-defence minister Mohamed Nazim’s apartment. The retired colonel was sentenced to 11 years in prison based on anonymized witness statements, which Nazim’s lawyers argue, were fabricated.

The prosecutor general’s office said it has not received complaints of false testimony by police or noticed any attempts at framing individuals.

Meanwhile, noting the role SO officers played in ex-president Mohamed Nasheed’s ouster, a former senior police officer said the squad was politically biased and “enjoy complete impunity, now to the point they feel they can do whatever they want.”

He, too, supported disbanding the SO, saying they regard routine police work as outside their duties. Faseeh had said the same in his statement.

The ex-officer said maintaining public order or riot control must be integrated into regular policing: “That way officers get to work together with people every day and will be more sensitive towards rights,” he said.

Photo by Shaari


#NameThatPolice: Police photo warning sparks social media outcry

The Maldives Police Services on Friday warned social media users against harassing and posting photos of individual officers online, prompting a social media outcry with dozens of Twitter users posting pictures of police brutality with the hashtag #NameThatPolice.

“Publicizing photos of individual police officers, with warnings, on social media is unacceptable,” the police said, claiming the act was aimed at intimidating police officers and inciting hatred towards the police force.

Appealing to social media users to be more responsible, the police warned of penalties against continued harassment.

The warning came after opposition supporters started circulating photos of individual police officers accusing them of criminality, brutality and bribery. The police statement, however, appears to have escalated matters.


Many photos posted by Twitter users were from the brutal police crackdown in the aftermath of former President Mohamed Nasheed’s ouster on February 7, 2012. A Commonwealth backed national inquiry had recommended penalizing officers for brutality, but the opposition says the government had instead promoted officers accused of brutalizing protesters.

Mohamed Shaheed asked, “Are we not allowed to talk about this?”

Speaking to Minivan News, he said the public must publish photos of police brutality, “otherwise it will not stop.”
“This is not aimed at all police officers, just the ones who break the law,” he added.

Some tweets included comical photos of police carrying protesters to police vehicles.

“I think the warning by police is downright ridiculous. Nobody should tell us to stop speaking out against brutality. We will not remain silent when crimes are committed, be it police or any other state institution,” Twitter user Ibrahim Huzam told Minivan News.

“In addition to the lack of discipline and professionalism, police act very hostile towards the public, this is very wrong,” he added.

Tensions are high in Malé with the opposition protesting daily over the imprisonment of former President Mohamed Nasheed and former Defence Minister Mohamed Nazim. Protests have now entered a seventh consecutive week.

Confrontations between police and protesters have increased recently, and hundreds including MPs and journalists have been arrested.

Chief Superintendent of Police Abdulla Nawaz on March 26 said inidivdual police officers have been confronted and intimidated at their homes, adding that efforts were underway to “psychologically weaken” police personnel

Nawaz also accused certain media outlets of attempting to falsely portray police as brutal towards civilians and said the media cut off live feed when protesters attacked police officers. He warned the police would arrest media personnel if they obstruct police duty.

Former Defence Minister Mohamed Nazim has meanwhile accused the police’s Specialist Operations (SO) officers of framing him by planting illegal weapons at his home and committing criminal activities including the chopping down of Malé City’s Areca Palms in October last year.

The police have denied the accusations as baseless and untrue.

Nazim was sentenced to 11 years in jail on Thursday (March 26).


State concludes witness testimony in former Defence Minister Nazim’s trial

Three anonymised police officers provided testimony with serious contradictions last week in former Defence Minister Mohamed Nazim’s trial on weapons possession charges.

The three officers were part of a search team during the controversial midnight raid on Nazim’s house on January 18. Their testimony indicated the Maldives Police Services did not follow stringent police regulations in conducting the search.

The search team did not videotape the raid as required, and provided conflicting testimony on whether mandatory photographs were taken. One witness said photos were only taken of the illegal weapons, while a second witness said photographs were taken from the moment the raid began.

Nazim — accused of smuggling illegal weapons — maintains he was framed by rogue SWAT police officers on the orders of Tourism Minister Ahmed Adeeb.

The three officers said they entered Nazim’s apartment after masked SWAT officers broke down the then-defence minister’s door. Nazim’s wife and two daughters were inside the apartment’s living room with the officers at the time, they said.

Police claimed to have discovered three bullets and a pistol in a black bag in a bedside drawer during the raid. Nazim was subsequently dismissed and arrested on additional charges of treason and terrorism.

If convicted of smuggling weapons, the retired colonel faces a jail term between ten and 15 years.

State prosecutors have now concluded summoning witnesses. A total of six individuals testified in four hearings last week. They included five police officers and one Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) officer.

The defence is to call witnesses at the next hearing on Sunday.

Police procedures

The Criminal Court held four hearings on March 17, 18 and 19. Nazim’s defence team questioned the three anonymised police witnesses on procedures followed during raid, search and chain of custody in evidence.

At the March 17 hearing, the chief Investigative Officer (IO) said he had sought a court warrant to search Nazim’s apartment building, Galholhu Enif, on his superior’s orders.

Intelligence information indicated weapons were kept either on the seventh or eighth floor, he said via telephone. The search team entered Nazim’s apartment ten to 15 minutes after SWAT officers entered the apartment and secured the premises, he said.

The police team searched Nazim’s bedroom first, in his presence, when the weapons were discovered, he said. Police officers searched all of Nazim’s apartment and a second apartment on the eighth floor, but did not search the seventh floor, he said.

The IO said Nazim had fully cooperated with the search. The police did not keep a record of observations in a special notebook or issue a list of items confiscated from the former defence minister’s home as per regulations, the cross-examination revealed.

One anonymised witness on March 18 said the search team did not check the ceiling, while the second said the team brought in a chair to check the ceiling and cupboards.

The legal team had previously claimed that the items found at Nazim’s house were planted by the police, saying that officers spent ten minutes inside Nazim’s bedroom unsupervised before the search began. Police have called the claims “untrue” and “baseless”.

On March 19, state prosecutors summoned Sub Inspector Ameen Abdul Gayoom regarding a forensic digital analysis report of a pen drive confiscated from Nazim’s apartment along with the weapons. The state has previously said documents on the pen drive indicate Nazim was plotting to harm President Abdulla Yameen, Commissioner of Police Hussein Waheed and Tourism Minister Ahmed Adeeb.

Journalists and observers were barred from the defence’s cross-examination of Gayoom due to the confidential nature of the documents on the pen drive.

Prosecutors then summoned MNDF First Lieutenant Mohamed Nazeem to prove the pistol and bullets were functioning. Nazeem said the a weapons expert had fired the pistol in his presence, but they had not tested the bullets. However, a visual inspection shows the bullets were not dummy rounds, he said.

Defence lawyers have named President Yameen, Commissioner Waheed, Chief of Defence Forces Major General Ahmed Shiyam, Home Minister Umar Naseer and several senior ranking police and military officers as witnesses to prove charges were fabricated in a conspiracy engineered by Adeeb.

The Criminal Court said the court would summon defence witnesses only if they appear to negate the prosecution’s evidence.

On March 7, lawyer Maumoon Hameed claimed Adeeb framed Nazim after the former defence minister alerted President Yameen of the tourism minister using SO SWAT officers to commit criminal acts, including the chopping down of all of Malé City’s areca palms in October last year.

The tourism minister has said he was “shocked” by the allegations, and has dismissed accusations as lies.

Defence lawyers have also called Superintendent of Police Ahmed Nafiz and former head of police’s intelligence directorate, Mohamed ‘MC’ Hameed, to prove a complaint was lodged over SO officer’s alleged criminal activities, and that SO officers had engaged in criminal activity.

The defence has also called senior ranking police and military officers to prove that a Special Protection Group Corporal had lost a 9mm Browning pistol at Shangri-La resort in 2014, that police officers did not follow due process in raiding and searching Nazim’s residence, and that police intelligence had not received any information that illegal weapons were smuggled into Malé prior to the raid.

The MNDF promptly dismissed allegations of missing weapons.


Child abuse suspect arrested in Fuvahmulah

A 37-year-old man has been arrested from Fuvahmulah Island on suspicion of child abuse on Friday.

According to the Maldives Police Services, an arrest warrant was issued after the Family and Child Protection Services Unit on Fuvahmulah reported a case of sexual abuse of a child.

“Since cases of child abuse are increasing, we advise all parents and guardians to pay special attention and protect innocent children from such harm. We also suggest that, even if you suspect anyone of such acts of harm, to do everything you can to protect the child and report it to the authorities,” the police urged.


Hundreds affected after massive fire breaks out at warehouse in Malé

Additional reporting by Hassan Mohamed 

A number of families have been forced out of their homes after a massive fire broke out in a warehouse in Malé on Thursday night (March 19), sending plumes of flame and smoke 60 feet into the air.

The two-storey Lily Store warehouse in Maafanu ward was completely destroyed, causing damages worth an estimated MVR30 million (US$1.9 million), according to Lily Store owner Ahmed Naseer.

Homes in the area were evacuated around 11:15pm as the flames leapt from Maafanu Oak Villa to adjacent buildings in the narrow alley. Residents first heard loud cracking noises like gunfire or explosions before the flames were visible.

Apartment opposite warehouse
Apartment opposite warehouse

Deodorant bottles, gas cylinders, one lorry, and three pickups were inside the warehouse.

All the windows of the multi-storey building opposite the warehouse were shattered and deodorant bottles were later found inside its apartments.

According to the Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) fire and rescue service, the fire was contained around 12:00am and completely extinguished about two hours later with members of the public working alongside police officers and firemen.

Fire lorries were unable to use water cannons for nearly 30 minutes with the narrow streets surrounding the warehouse packed with panic-stricken and fleeing residents.

Residents from the neighbourhood told Minivan News that many people emerged from their homes in night dresses, and some were carrying crying toddlers.


DSC_9477-1On Saturday morning, smoke was still spewing out of the burnt-down warehouse.

The fire had spread to the third floor of an adjacent building as well as a construction site whilst the roof of a nearby house had collapsed.

The apartment now lies in ruins and many houses were looted after residents fled.

Malé City Councilor Shamau Shareef said a family of ten was sheltering at Malé’s Social Centre with the neighbourhood home to about 500 people still engulfed in smoke.

Shamau said about four families were forced out of their homes with their buildings uninhabitable, walls still scalding hot and belongings burnt.

The opposition Maldivian Democratic Party councillor called on MNDF and police to expedite cleaning up the area as the “toxic fumes are not safe to breathe.” He also urged the government to provide temporary shelter to the four affected families.

However, Shamau commended the MNDF and police both for their prompt response and safely evacuating the neighbourhood.

DSC_9470-1Apart from an elderly man reportedly treated at the Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital for smoke inhalation, no one was harmed in the fire.

A middle-aged woman seeking refuge at the social centre told Minivan News that the explosions she heard “sounded like gunfire.”

“We were all sleeping when the fire broke out. I was woken up by very loud explosions. Soon someone started knocking on the door loudly and asked us to evacuate,” she recalled.

“My child still is only eating now, yesterday he barely ate anything and had trouble sleeping,” she said, pointing to her 13-year-old son having biscuits and tea at the social centre’s small cafeteria.

She expressed gratitude to the Disaster Management Centre for arranging temporary shelter and providing food and other essentials.

“I understand it is a difficult time for everyone. We do not have all the luxuries we had at home. But I am happy with what they have done for us,” she said.

A resident of the neighbourhood, Ali Rasheed, 52, said his family has been sleeping and eating at friend’sDSC_9474-1 places as living in their home was “unbearable” because of the smoke.

“I believe the government should be held accountable for this. The fire trucks were not able to provide water until much later,” he said.

Lily Store owner Naseer told local media that nothing was salvaged from the warehouse, which he said was stored with newly imported goods ten days ago. However, the warehouse was insured, Naseer said.

Vice President Dr Mohamed Jameel Ahmed visited the damaged homes this morning.

Suspected arson

A police media official confirmed today that a separate fire occurred at Ekuveni around 12:00am on Thursday night, less than an hour after the warehouse fire broke out.

Police began patrolling the city whilst MNDF officers were deployed to petrol sheds and other strategic locations.

A security guard at the sports complex told Minivan News that he saw two “youngsters on a motorcycle” hurl what appeared to be petrol bombs into the premises. However, the fires were quickly extinguished.

“I immediately called the police and started working on extinguishing the fire,” he said.

The second fire fueled speculation of coordinated attacks, and police have not ruled out arson in the warehouse fire, saying all lines of inquiry were open in the ongoing investigation.

Photo by Laisha Mohamed Shakir
Photo by Laisha Mohamed Shakir

“We are working hard to identify those involved in the dangerous fire in Malé on Thursday night, and will take strict action against them,” Police Commissioner Hussain Waheed wrote on Facebook today.

Cover photo by Laisha Mohamed Shakir


Dog kennels set up at Hulhulé Airport

Dog kennel

The Maldives Airports Company Pvt Ltd has completed a dog kennel to house 16 sniffer dogs at the Ibrahim Nasir International Airport (INIA) on Hulhulé Island.

MACL Managing Director Adil Moosa presented a ceremonial key to the compound to Home Minister Umar Naseer and Commissioner of Police Hussein Waheed on Tuesday.

“In addition to countering illicit drugs, the sniffer dogs are also capable of identifying explosives and forged bank notes. Training them in this regard will help the police in fighting crime,” Naseer said at the ceremony.

The compound – measuring 240 by 93 feet – would house the 16 dogs and contains two bathing facilities. The first dogs are to arrive on March 23, and includes puppies.


Police dismiss reporters’ terror claim against Criminal Court

The Maldives Police Services has rejected a complaint filed by three journalists alleging the Criminal Court had abducted them inside the Justice Building on Friday night (March 13).

The journalists from CNM, state broadcaster Television Maldives (TVM) and Avas said court clerks refused repeated requests to let them out of the building to inform their readers of the outcome of a 9:15pm hearing in former President Mohamed Nasheed’s terrorism trial.

All trial observers and journalists were held for nearly two hours inside the building after the initial hearing, as judges deliberated on a verdict.  They were not allowed to use their phones or communicate with the reporters gathered outside.

Journalists and observers had not previously been informed a verdict would be delivered on the same night.

When Mohamed Afsal, Misbah Abbas and Muizz Ibrahim reiterated requests to be allowed to leave the courthouse, court officials refused to allow them outside or inside the courtroom for the verdict later. The three were held in the waiting area until the verdict was delivered.

The journalists accused the Criminal Court of kidnapping and terrorism.

However, police dismissed the case stating they do not have the jurisdiction to investigate the case, and recommended the complaint be filed at the Judicial Services Commission instead.

The Criminal Court had previously barred opposition aligned Rajje TV journalists from attending court proceedings, claiming a journalist from the private broadcaster had threatened Judge Abdul Bari Yoosuf, one of the three judges who presided over Nasheed’s trial.

The station has denied the court’s claims.



33 protesters barred from protests for 60 days

The Criminal Court has conditioned the release of 33 opposition protesters arrested last week on their staying home from further protests for 60 days.

Human Rights NGO Maldivian Democracy Network (MDN) has described the move as unconstitutional, arguing the condition violated the right to freedom of assembly and expression.

Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) MP Fayyaz Ismail was remanded for additional 15 days when he refused the Criminal Court’s condition on Saturday.

Supporters have commended Fayyaz’s “bravery,” and called on protesters to follow his example.

MDN Executive Director Shahindha Ismail said a fundamental right could only be limited by a law passed through the People’s Majlis.

“This is not a limitation of rights, but a violation of [the detainee’s] rights to assembly, expression, and free will,” she said.

“The Court can enforce conditions on detainees to ensure a person’s attendance in court. For example, having to obtain a permit from the court when travelling. However, they cannot place a condition asking them to not go to a protest,” she said.

According to the Maldives Police Services, a total of 77 individuals have been arrested from opposition protests since February 27. If individuals released with conditions are seen at protests, the police will take action, a spokesperson said.

The opposition continues to hold nightly protests demanding the release of former President Mohamed Nasheed, imprisoned ahead of a trial on terrorism charges over the military detention of Criminal Court Judge Abdulla Mohamed in January 2012.

The opposition leader has denied ordering the judge’s arrest. If convicted, he faces a jail term or banishment between ten and 15 years.

The MDP in February allied with former ruling coalition partner Jumhooree Party (JP) against what they call President Abdulla Yameen’s repeated breaches of the Constitution.

Nasheed was arrested on Februrary 22 after Prosecutor General Muhthaz Muhsin alleged he may abscond from the unannounced terrorism trial scheduled for the next day.

Police arrested 26 individuals on March 6 alone. In addition to Fayyaz, MDP Vice President Mohamed Shifaz and former MP Ilyas Labeeb were arrested.

Two journalists from Villa TV and CNM were also briefly detained for allegedly obstructing police duties.

Of the 26 arrested, 21 were brought for remand hearings the next day. The Criminal Court released 18 on the condition they do not participate in further protests.

Shahindha, who also served as the President of the Police Integrity Commission from 2009 to 2012, accused police of using disproportionate force in making arrests, using pepper spray at close range and verbal abuse.

“This is not humane treatment at all, and should not be allowed. The police are reverting back to old times by being brutal and forceful,” she said.

The former police integrity commissioner also expressed concern at reports of police officers refusing to use any identification at protests.

“The alleged reasoning behind this is to prevent personal attacks against individual officers,” said Shahindha. “But there should be some sort of identity on the individuals so independent commissions will be able to hold them accountable, even if it’s a number code.”

She also claimed police were setting up barricades and closing down streets at random. Barricades had been set up outside of green zones in which protests are prohibited.

The police have banned protests near the Malé City Hall until March 15, claiming businesses in the area had been complaining over protesters allegedly disrupting business.

The PIC and Human Rights Commission of the Maldives (HRCM) must investigate alleged violations, Shahindha said.

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Angry crowd threatens to assault Human Rights Commissioners

A group of five angry middle-aged men entered the Human Rights Commission of the Maldives (HRCM) offices at 10:00am on Tuesday and threatened to assault the five commissioners.

According to HRCM member Jeehan Mahmoud, the group was unhappy over a statement issued by the commission on Monday condemning the police’s mistreatment of former President Mohamed Nasheed at the Criminal Court.

The HRCM statement had condemned the police’s disproportionate use of force against Nasheed, and urged the state to immediately extend medical attention and access to a lawyer.

The commission said it was “investigating the police’s brutal treatment of the former president.”

Jeehan said the group threatened to harm the five commission members and demanded a meeting immediately. When HRCM staff declined, the group threatened to harass the members on the street.

“Inciting hatred and violence and issuing threats is an offence,” she said.

According to Jeehan, members of the public frequently harass HRCM, alleging the commission is biased and does not exercise its powers fully.

“But this is the first time in a while that we’ve had such a direct threat of bodily harm. However, this will not affect out work at all,” she said.

The statement had been approved by all five members of the commission and signed by its Secretary General, Jeehan noted.

The Maldives Police Services have confirmed the case is under investigation.

Nasheed is currently being held in pre-trial detention at the Dhoonidhoo Island Detention Centre. He is charged with terrorism over the military’s detention of Criminal Court Chief Judge Abdulla Mohamed in January 2012.

Speaking to Raajje TV after a visit with Nasheed, his wife Laila Ali revealed that doctors said there was an injury to the former president’s shoulder and recommended he undergo physiotherapy for a week.

A police spokesperson confirmed Nasheed had seen a doctor at Medica Clinic in Malé at 2:20pm yesterday. Neither his family nor lawyers were informed.

The police had manhandled Nasheed when he attempted to answer questions posed by journalists upon his arrival at the Justice Building at 4:00pm on Monday.

Minivan News journalists observed Nasheed repeatedly asking the police to pull back, saying he would walk into the court room on his own accord. Villa TV cameramen captured footage of a police officer twisting Nasheed’s thumb.

Nasheed fell down and his shirt was torn in the process. Half an hour later, he appeared in court with his arm in a makeshift sling.

The opposition leader said his arm was broken and asked for immediate medical attention and right to legal counsel. Presiding Judge Abdulla Didi ignored his request and proceeded with the trial.

The Maldives Police Services have denied brutalising Nasheed and dismissed his claim of a broken arm, claiming the former president had staged his own fall while resisting police attempts to escort him into the court building.

The EU, UN, Commonwealth, India, US and Canada have expressed concern over Nasheed’s arrest and trial. Foreign Minister Dunya Maumoon has since hit back at international statements, claiming they were biased towards the opposition and poorly researched.

Speaking on TVM’s “Maldives Today” programme on Monday night, Presidential Affairs Minister Mohamed ‘Mundhu’ Hussein Shareef accused Nasheed of playing “stunts” in order to get international media attention and said such incidents tarnished Maldives’ image.

Tourism Minister Ahmed Adeeb said Nasheed must be tried and penalised to ensure justice is done to Judge Abdulla Mohamed and his family.

Related to this story

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Former President Nasheed arrives in court with arm in makeshift sling