MDP proposes imprisoned ex-president to represent party in talks

The Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) has proposed imprisoned former President Mohamed Nasheed, chairperson Ali Waheed and MP Ibrahim “Ibu” Mohamed Solih as representatives for talks with the government.

The main opposition party’s national council adopted a resolution today to accept the government’s calls for dialogue to resolve the ongoing political crisis.

“The [MDP] believes that the anxiety and distress in the country can be resolved by all the opposition parties sitting down at the table for discussions with the government,” reads the resolution.

President Abdulla Yameen’s proposed agenda for talks focuses on three aspects: political reconciliation, strengthening the judiciary and legal system and political party participation in economic and social development

However, the government has ruled out negotiations over the release Nasheed and former defence minister Mohamed Nazim, insisting the president does not have the constitutional authority to release convicts before the appeal process is exhausted.

President’s office spokesperson Ibrahim Muaz was not responding to calls at the time of publication.

However, Muaz told Haveeru before the resolution was passed that the government will go ahead with the talks even if the MDP declines the president’s offer.

During the national council debate on the resolution, MP Eva Abdulla stressed the importance of talks involving all political parties, including the ruling Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM).

“MDP is the first party that called to solve the political crisis. So we are happy the government took the initiative to hold talks and we accept it. But we want to hold the discussions together, not separately as the government has suggested,” she said.

President Yameen had sent invitations to the three allied opposition parties separately and assigned two ministerial teams for the talks.

Eva also argued that the agenda for the talks should be up for discussion.

“We are not going to discussions to talk only about what the government wants. The discussions will include what the government wants, but also what we want. The agenda of the talks also should be set at the discussions,” she said.

Eva also suggested MDP should not join the discussions without the proposed delegation: “I don’t think there is anything we can solve without the delegation MDP proposed.”

Nasheed is currently serving a 13-year jail term at the high-security Maafushi prison following his conviction on terrorism charges in March.

The MDP has maintained that the trial was a politically motivated attempt to bar the party’s president and presumptive candidate from the 2018 presidential election.

Foreign governments and international bodies including the UN have criticized the trial for apparent lack of due process, while the EU parliament has called for Nasheed’s immediate release.

MDP chairperson Ali Waheed was meanwhile released from police custody this afternoon. He had been held in remand detention since his arrest in the wake of the mass anti-government demonstration on May 1.

Police have concluded an investigation on charges of inciting violence and forwarded a case against Waheed to the prosecutor general’s office. A seven-day extension of detention granted by the criminal court expired today.

While the Jumhooree Party (JP) has accepted the invitation for talks, the religious conservative Adhaalath Party proposed its detained president, Sheikh Imran Abdulla, among the party’s representatives.

Imran was also arrested on May 1 and remains in police custody.

Speaking at today’s emergency meeting of the national council, MP Ibu, MDP parliamentary group leader, noted that the acceptance of the government’s invitation does not mean the party trusts the government.

“We are going to sit down with the government not necessarily because we trust them. We should always learn from what has happened in the past. Recently we saw the Ukrainian government sitting down for talks with Russia despite the distrust,” he said.

Ibu said the planned mass protest for June 12 – organised by the MDP –  is also a call for discussions.

“The June 12 protest is also a symbol of negotiations and talks. So I call on the people of Maldives who support our cause to come and join us in discussions,” he said.

Other members of the national council questioned the “sincerity” of the government’s invitation for talks.

“The deputy leader of JP, Ameen Ibrahim, was set free by the High Court but the state once again appealed his case in the apex court to detain him again. So the intent of the government is questionable,” said MP Rozaina Adam.

Ameen is among the five-member team to represent the Jumhooree Party. Some opposition politicians contend the police’s attempt to detain Ameen is an attempt to prevent him from representing the JP.

The resolution was passed with the support of of 42 members with one vote against.

The dissenting member objected referring to Nasheed as the party’s president, arguing that the government might reject the resolution on the grounds that he no longer holds the post.

In late April, the pro-government majority voted through amendments to the Prison and Parole Act that prohibited inmates from holding high-level posts in political parties.

The revised law effectively stripped Nasheed of the MDP presidency.

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MDP MP appeals for Indian pressure to release Nasheed

An opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) MP has appealed for Indian prime minister Narendra Modi’s help to secure the release of imprisoned ex-president Mohamed Nasheed.

The disappearance of Minivan News journalist Ahmed Rilwan, death threats against journalists and human rights defenders, and an arson attack against opposition-aligned Raajje TV are “symptomatic of the Maldives’ slide into tyranny,” MP Eva Abdulla wrote in a letter to the Indian prime minister.

“I hope you can use your good offices to pressure the Maldivian government to release President Nasheed and other political prisoners, return to rule of law, uphold the constitution and protect the basic human rights of all Maldivians,” reads the letter sent on April 22.

Eva’s appeal was echoed by Amnesty International last week, which warned that the human rights situation in the Maldives is “rapidly deteriorating” with the government cracking down on peaceful protests, stifling dissent, and imprisoning opposition politicians.

Raghu Menon, Amnesty International India’s advocacy coordinator, said India as a regional power “has a responsibility to work towards a human rights-friendly environment in the Maldives.”

The ruling coalition has previously condemned calls for Indian intervention as “irresponsible”.

“Urging India to intervene in a sovereign nation’s internal affairs is a betrayal of our constitution. Its results will be bitter, especially on the Maldivian public,” majority leader of parliament Ahmed Nihan told Minivan News after Nasheed urged India before his arrest in February to ensure the security of opposition politicians.

Foreign minister Dunya Maumoon has also expressed confidence that India “will not intervene in domestic politics of Maldives.”

Following Nasheed’s arrest and prosecution on controversial terrorism charges, Modi dropped the Maldives from a tour of Indian Ocean neighbours in early March.

Nasheed was sentenced to 13 years in prison last month on terrorism charges related to the military’s detention of a judge during his tenure. The 19-day trial was widely criticised by foreign governments, the UN, and Amnesty International for its apparent lack of due process.

“Slide towards dictatorship”

Rilwan’s disappearance on August 8 in a suspected abduction “highlights the nature of today’s Maldives, where the rule by fear has taken the place of rule of law,” Eva wrote.

The government’s commitment to finding Rilwan was “questionable” as president Abdulla Yameen refused to comment on the disappearance.

“Of the many human rights abuses that have taken place in the Maldives, Rilwan’s has resonated across the country for its encapsulation of every fear within our society,” she said, adding that the disappearance came after “months of intimidation against journalists, civil society, and independent institutions.”

The public was still awaiting answers, she continued, as police have not “credibly” investigated the murder of former MP Afrasheem Ali, the attempted murder of Raajje TV journalist Ibrahim Waheed ‘Asward’, and the torching of Raajje TV’s studios.

Eva accused the current administration of using its parliamentary majority to “crush dissent, eliminate political opposition and make laws to facilitate executive and judicial tyranny” and offering immunity from prosecution to violent gangs that operate with impunity.

“An impunity and patronage the government makes no attempt to hide,” she added.

She further contended that “confessions through torture, show trials, and state sponsored violence” of the autocratic past have returned under president Yameen.

However, Eva said “Maldivians refuse to be cowed by president Yameen’s authoritarian tactics” and have taken to the streets to protest against “the slide towards dictatorship.”

“In tightening its grip, the regime appears to be losing it,” she suggested.

“More political parties, politicians and activists are leaving the regime and joining the opposition coalition.”

The Indian government has “the power to make a difference in the Maldives” and had been crucial to the success of the democratic reform movement that culminated in the adoption of a rights-based constitution and multi-party elections in 2008.

“The movement cannot end yet, we have come too far to leave this conflict to our children,” she wrote.

“So we ask India’s help again. I believe it is in India’s interest to see the Maldives return to the democratic path. We cannot afford another failed Muslim democracy, nor a front of instability in the Indian Ocean.”

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Budget debate begins in parliament

The budget debate began in parliament today with opposition MPs criticising higher taxes and pro-government MPs praising planned capital investments.

Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) MPs contended that the budget would bring “revolutionary” changes to the economy and spur growth, noting that recurrent expenditure of MVR15.8 billion (US$1 billion) would be covered by government income or revenue of MVR21.5 billion (US$1.3 billion).

The MVR6.3 billion (US$408 million) allocated for the Public Sector Investment Programme (PSIP) – 24 percent of the budget – would see an unprecedented number of infrastructure projects launched in 2015, the ruling party MPs said.

Opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) MPs, however, questioned whether MVR3.4 billion (US$220 million) anticipated from proposed new revenue raising measures could be realised in full during the year.

MDP MPs also argued that the public would have to bear the burden of higher prices caused by import duty hikes and claimed the budget was “discriminatory” as constituencies represented by opposition MPs were ignored.

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MDP MP Eva Abdulla raises concern over safety of MPs, journalist with IPU human rights committee

Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) MP Eva Abdulla met the Inter-Parliamentary Union’s (IPU) human rights committee yesterday to raise concerns over the personal safety of MPs and journalists in the Maldives.

In a press release today, the main opposition party explained that the MP for Galolhu North met members of the committee during the IPU assembly in Geneva, Switzerland and highlighted security threats to opposition politicians, the media, and the community at large.

“[Eva] spoke about the lack of thorough investigations of these cases, perpetrators not facing trial, the failure of law enforcement in the face of atrocities committed out in the open, the failure of the People’s Majlis to look into the cases, and the creation of a culture of intimidation in the Maldives,” the press release stated.

“Eva also noted at the human rights committee the lack of any action taken so far regarding police brutality against MDP MPs on February 7 and 8, 2012 and later despite conclusive evidence.”

A hearing scheduled at the Criminal Court yesterday concerning the alleged assault of MDP Mariya Ahmed Didi on February 8 by a police officer was cancelled after the defendant failed to appear at court.

Referring to the cancellation of the hearing, Eva noted that “selective prosecution” of MDP MPs were ongoing at the Criminal Court.

A hearing of former MDP MP Hamid Abdul Ghafoor’s trial took place yesterday at the court, she noted.

Eva also accused the government and parliament of failing to investigate numerous death threats sent to MPs and failing to provide security.

The IPU has previously said that the government’s reaction to the death threats would be “a test of the country’s democratic credentials.”

On the disappearance of Minivan News journalist Ahmed Rilwan, Eva told members of the committee that an independent investigation uncovered evidence suggesting that Rilwan was abducted.

Eva criticised the police’s failure to properly investigate the disappearance and contended that the case was not a high priority for the government.

She noted that parliamentary oversight committees have refused to look into the case.

She noted the arson attack against private broadcaster Raajje TV, the near-fatal stabbing of Raajje TV journalist Ibrahim Waheed ‘Asward’, the attack on Minivan News last month where a machete was buried in the building’s door, and death threats sent to journalists via text message from unlisted numbers.

Despite clear evidence in some cases, Eva noted that the government has not taken any action against the perpetrators to date.

While police arrested a 32-year-old suspect on charges of stealing Minivan News’ security camera – who was clearly identifiable on the CCTV footage – the Criminal Court released the suspect with conditions the following day.

MDP MP Imthiyaz Fahmy told Minivan News last month that death threats have become too commonplace to publicise each incident.

Following a rally in September, MDP MP Eva Abdulla received a text message threatening a suicide attack at the next MDP gathering. The message also threatened to “kill off” MDP members and vowed to “fight to the last drop of blood.”

Eva revealed on social media that she had received a text threatening to kill the children of MDP members.

“Don’t bring out your children on the streets these days. Stabbing season is about to begin. [We] will kill you,” the message read.

Eva noted that the same message was sent to many MDP members while the “govt looks on”.

Several journalist were also sent a text message warning them not to cover “the incidents happening in Malé now”, which included the torching of the MDP’s office on September 26.

“This is a war between the laadheenee [secular or irreligious] MDP mob and religious people. We advise the media not to come in the middle of this. We won’t hesitate to kill you,” read the threat.

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JP and MDP MPs boycott committee reviewing SEZ bill

Jumhooree Party (JP) and Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) MPs boycotted parliament’s economic affairs committee today in protest of alleged procedural violations by the committee’s chair in his haste to complete reviewing the government’s flagship special economic zone (SEZ) legislation.

Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) MP Abdulla Khaleel – the committee’s chairperson – was “repeatedly violating Majlis rules and committee rules as well,” said JP Leader Gasim after walking out of a meeting this morning and raising a point of order at the ongoing parliament sitting.

The SEZ law would authorise a board formed by the president “to sell off the entire country in the name of economic zones,” the business tycoon said.

He added that the committee was not considering recommendations by state institutions concerning relaxed regulations, exempted import duties and tax incentives.

PPM MPs wanted to complete assessment of the bill “like a snap of the finger,” he said.

Speaker Abdulla Maseeh Mohamed, however, said he could not accept Gasim’s objections as a point of order and advised the Maamigili MP to submit a complaint outside the sitting.

Backing Gasim’s stance, MDP MP Eva Abdulla – who had walked out of the committee with Gasim – contended that procedural violations at committees must be dealt with by the speaker.

As the “smallest example” of Khaleel’s misconduct, Eva alleged that the chair was participating in votes while the rules stipulate that he could only cast a vote to break a tie.

The chair was completely “disregarding” recommendations and commentary sent to the committee by the Maldives Police Service, Customs Service, Local Government Authority, and Maldives Monetary Authority, Eva claimed.

Moreover, the views of JP and MDP MPs were deliberately being ignored, she added.

Parties in the minority should be respected, she continued, warning of disruptions to proceedings at parliament sittings if the issue was not resolved.

In a second point of order, Gasim said he would not stand for the PPM misusing its parliamentary majority to get its way in flagrant violation of rules.

If the SEZ bill is passed into law without revisions, Gasim said the country’s “independence would be lost” and “certain people” would be allowed to carry out corrupt dealings.

PPM MP Riyaz Rasheed meanwhile advised resolving the dispute through dialogue in lieu of disrupting proceedings with quarrels in the chamber.

Shortly after the second session of today’s sitting resumed at 11am, Speaker Maseeh adjourned proceedings in the face of consecutive points of order raised by JP and MDP MPs.

Fast-tracking

Khaleel had told newspaper Haveeru last week that he expected to complete the review process and send the bill to the Majlis floor for a vote before the end of the month.

Parliament breaks for a one-month recess at the end of August.

As the bill was a high priority for the government, the MP for Faafu Nilandhoo said he had decided to hold two meetings for every day when there is a parliament sitting.

Khaleel had stressed that stakeholders would be consulted and technical expertise would be sought.

Prior to walking out of today’s meeting, Gasim advised that it was “very important” to specifying a period for offering tax incentives to investors instead of leaving it to the discretion of a board.

Eva meanwhile objected to PPM MPs refusing to “accommodate” any recommendations from state institutions and urged the chair to “respect parliamentary practice.”

In response, Khaleel insisted that he was conducting proceedings in accordance with the rules and that comments that were “not against the spirit of the bill” were being considered.

After the JP and MDP MPs walked out, Khaleel continued the review process – with PPM MPs and coalition partner Maldives Development Alliance (MDA) Leader MP Ahmed ‘Sun’ Siyam Mohamed in attendance – and put articles 34 through 48 to a vote after seeking proposed amendments.

Reflecting its simple majority in the 85-member house, the PPM-MDA coalition has voting majorities on parliamentary oversight committees.

Meanwhile, responding to criticism of the SEZ bill from the opposition, President Abdulla Yameen insisted in a speech on Monday night (August 11) that foreign investments in the zones posed no threat to Islam or Maldivian sovereignty, assuring that the businesses would be fully subject to Maldivian law.

Former President Mohamed Nasheed contends that the zones would be used for criminal enterprises, “irreligious” activities such as gambling, and money laundering.

The opposition leader had dubbed the legislation the ‘Artur Brothers bill’, referring to an infamous pair of Armenians linked with money laundering and drug trafficking who made headlines last year after they were photographed with cabinet ministers.

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Five police brutality cases from February 2012 ongoing at court, AG tells Majlis

Five cases involving four police officers accused of committing acts of brutality in February 2012 are ongoing at the Criminal Court, Attorney General Mohamed Anil informed parliament today.

At minister’s question time, opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) MP Eva Abdulla asked how far investigations into police brutality – as recommended by the 2012 Commission of National Inquiry’s (CoNI) – had progressed.

With respect to the administration of justice, in particular concerning allegations of police brutality and acts of intimidation, there is an urgent need for investigations to proceed and to be brought to public knowledge with perpetrators held to account and appropriately sanctioned,” read the second recommendation of the report.

While it concluded that the transfer of presidential power was constitutional, CoNI had found that “there were acts of police brutality on 6, 7 and 8 February 2012 that must be investigated and pursued further by the relevant authorities.”

Anil explained that the Police Integrity Commission (PIC) had investigated 45 cases of alleged police brutality and made a recommendation to the home ministry to dismiss six police officers.

After the ministry instructed police to take disciplinary action against the officers, the police disciplinary board investigated the cases and sacked one officer.

However, the disciplinary board decided there was insufficient evidence to prove wrongdoing by the other five officers and decided not to dismiss them pending the outcome of a trial.

Four of the accused officers were nonetheless removed from “front line” duty and transferred to different departments, noted the attorney general.

The PIC had also submitted cases involving six police officers to the Prosecutor General’s (PG) Office to press assault charges, he continued.

Of the cases filed at the Criminal Court by the PG’s Office, Anil said one case had been concluded and has since been appealed at the High Court.

Moreover, he added, cases involving three other officers were sent back to the PIC due to incomplete information with instructions for resubmission.

The PG’s Office also decided not to prosecute three police officers accused of obeying “unlawful orders,” Anil noted.

Of the 45 cases investigated by the PIC, the attorney general explained that the commission decided there was no evidence concerning 14 complaints, while there was insufficient evidence to identify the officers responsible for 11 acts of brutality.

The remaining cases involved procedural violations, he added, concerning which the PIC recommended strengthening institutional mechanisms.

Following the recommendation to the home ministry, Anil said efforts were undertaken to familiarise police officers with laws and regulations as well as to strengthen ethical training, while further courses were formulated and conducted.

Police brutality

On February 8, 2012, thousands of MDP supporters took to the streets of Malé in a protest march after former President Mohamed Nasheed declared his resignation the previous day had come “under duress” in a “coup d’etat” instigated by mutinying police officers of the Special Operations (SO).

Following an investigation, the Human Rights Commission of Maldives (HRCM) concluded that the heavy-handed police crackdown on the MDP walk was “brutal” and “without warning.”

The HRCM recommended investigations by the PIC into the “disproportionate” use of force that left dozens of demonstrators injured and hospitalised.

In May 2013, the PG’s Office pressed charges against two police officers accused of assaulting MDP MPs ‘Reeko’ Moosa Manik and Mariya Ahmed Didi during the violent crackdown.

Amnesty International meanwhile warned that failure to prosecute police officers accused of human rights abuses and “serious failings in the justice system entrenched impunity”.

In June 2013, former PIC member Hala Hameed told parliament’s government oversight committee that the cases involving the six police officers were “not disciplinary issues, but crimes,” expressing concern with the home minister’s refusal to suspend the officers.

Moreover, former PIC Chair Shahinda Ismail told Minivan News in September 2012 that a staff sergeant caught on tape kicking a fallen demonstrator “was promoted after this incident.”

In February this year, Shahinda told Minivan News that detainees arrested in Addu City on February 9 were “forced to walk on smoldering coals”.

According to the HRCM report, 32 people filed complaints concerning varying degrees of injuries sustained in the crackdown, while 20 people submitted medical documents of their treatment of injuries.

Two fingers on the left hand of one demonstrator were crushed, the report noted.

Al Jazeera filmed parts of the crackdown, reporting that “police and military charged, beating demonstrators as they ran – women, the elderly, [with] dozens left nursing their wounds”. The BBC meanwhile reported “a baton charge by police on crowds gathered outside one of the main hospitals.”

In a report in May 2013, the UN Special Rapporteur for Independence of Judges and Lawyers Gabriela Knaul warned that there could be more instability and unrest unless serious human rights violations of Maldives’ authoritarian past are addressed.

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Protesters adopt new tactics during fifth night of calls for elections

Additional reporting by Leah Malone

Multiple arrests and pepper spraying marked the fifth consecutive night of protests on Tuesday evening, as supporters of the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) demonstrated near the Supreme Court in Male’.

Both regular police officers and Special Operations branches of the Maldives Police Service (MPS) were present at yesterday’s demonstrations, as well as Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) officers who were manning barricades.

The Supreme Court has been the focus of protests after its order to indefinitely delay the second round of the presidential elections forced the Elections Commission (EC) to concede that the September 28 run-off could not go ahead.

Thirty female protesters gathered near the Supreme Court in the early evening and were met by Special Operations police in riot gear and MNDF officers. MDP MP Eva Abdulla and former Education Minister Shifa Mohamed were among those detained by police during the demonstration.

By 11:00pm approximately a thousand protesters had gathered near the FDI Station on Fareedhee Magu – the closest protesters can go to the Supreme Court building, as the area remains cordoned off by police and military forces.

Following a series of speeches by MDP MPs – including Eva Abdulla who was released from police custody in time to address the crowd – the demonstrators altered their strategy. Instead of remaining in a single location, the protesters divided their numbers between multiple locations on the north side of the capital.

Hundreds peacefully walked the back roads behind the Supreme Court calling for elections, and were met by MNDF officers in riot gear guarding the alleys leading to government buildings. A group of protesters were met by approximately 30 Special Operations police in riot gear near Republic Square, which prompted the crowd to continue their march.

After regrouping near the FDI building the protesters staged another march down Chandanee Magu, to Majeedhee Magu, and back up Orchid Magu – all main thoroughfares in the capital city. Groups of onlookers were seen gathered in front of private businesses and homes, some of whom joined the protest.

The seemingly spontaneous marches were to intended to disorient the smaller numbers of Special Operations police, an MDP activist and former government official told Minivan News during the demonstration.

Minivan News observed MNDF in riot gear blocking protesters from approaching government buildings, however they deferred to police once fresh squads arrived at the various intersections.

Standard police officer’s – ‘blues’ – were observers using pepper spray on protesters, while Special Operations officers sent in snatch teams to pluck people from the crowd once numbers had dwindled to around 400.

Although the police website reported 10 people arrested, Minivan News witnessed up to 20 people taken into police custody before the protest ended around 2:30am.

Picture by Ranreendhoo Maldives

Following criticism of police arrest procedures at the Parliamentary Privileges Subcommittee yesterday, the police today released a series of statements stating that strip-searching, testing for drugs and handcuffing were legal, and “not inhumane.”

The MDP has alleged arbitrary and frequent use of pepper spray, beating, strip-searching, frisking, handcuffing and drug tests of their supporters arrested at protests.

Arrests “not inhumane”

In a statement today, the police said they were authorised to frisk and strip-searches under Articles 32-36 of the the Police Powers Act. The articles state that police are authorised to frisk and carry out strip searches if the police have reasonable grounds to believe the detainee may hold an object to harm themselves or another, or an object for intoxication, or an object to commit an illegal object.

In a separate statement today, the police said that handcuffing is not an “inhumane act” saying the police are authorised under Article 57 of the police powers act to handcuff detainees while they are being transported.

The police said they are also authorised to ask for urine samples to do drug tests if there were reasonable grounds to suspect the detainee was intoxicated, even if the individual was not detained on suspicion of drug use.

Prosecutor General Ahmed Muizz meanwhile told the Parliamentary Privileges Committee that police could only carry out drug tests if the detainee was arrested for suspected drug abuse, or if police had reasonable grounds to suspect detainees arrested on different charges have used drugs.

Police carried out a drug test on Haveeru journalist during one of this week’s earlier protests, and requested a urine sample from MP Ali Azim.

Police also expressed concern about media taking photographs of the operations.

“Who is taking these photos? She’s snapping pictures of everything we do,” one SO officer objected to a colleague.

“Let her take photos, what can she do with them, right?” the second officer remarked.

“We should just take her in,” said a third.

The Supreme Court has yet to make a decision on Gasim Ibrahim’s bid to annul the first round of results after he placed third, despite the court concluding the hearings last week.

Earlier this week, court media officials offered assurances that the case was being worked on “around the clock”.

Speaking at a Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) event on the island of Maafushi yesterday, presidential candidate Abdulla Yameen suggested that street protests would not influence the outcome.

“The Maldives will obey the rulings of the judicial courts. Street rulings will not work in the Maldives,” local media reported Yameen as saying.

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MDP MP Eva departs for IPU human rights committee meeting

Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) MP for Galolhu North Eva Abdulla last week departed for Quebec, Canada to participate in a meeting of the Inter-Parliamentary Union’s (IPU) human rights committee.

According to the MDP, the committee is being convened to consider cases filed by the party with regard to acts of police brutality against the former ruling party’s MPs on February 7 and 8.

The IPU’s human rights committee will meet on October 21 and 26.

Three classified reports by the IPU concerning police brutality against MDP MPs have been shared with parliament and the executive since the transfer of presidential power on February 7, the party has revealed.

In April this year, MP Eva was unanimously elected as a member of the Committee of Women Parliamentarians of the IPU during the committee meeting held in conjunction with the 126th Assembly of IPU at Kampala, Uganda.

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