Azima’s law firm drops Nazim’s case

Former Attorney General Aishath Azima Shakoor has dropped former defence minister Mohamed Nazim’s case, say media reports

According to a press statement from Azima’s law firm Avant-Garde, the firm decided to drop the case for “personal reasons”.

Nazim is facing charges relating to possession of dangerous weapons after police raided his home on January 18.

The statement also said that Nazim’s case from now onwards will be handled by Maumoon Hameed – nephew of President Abdulla Yameen.

Previously Avant-Garde has stated that Nazim did not commit any act in violation of the law and that “he would like to assure everyone that he would not do anything in violation of the law in the future”.

State TV broadcaster MBC reported that Azima’s law firm had, earlier today, confirmed that the department of immigration is holding his passport.


Dismissed Defence Minister’ passport held by authorities

The passport of former defence minister Mohamed Nazim has been held by the department of immigration and emigration through a Criminal Court order, say media reports.

State TV broadcaster MBC reported that Nazim’s legal team had confirmed immigration is holding the passport.

Nazim – who was also acting health minister and head of immigration – was dismissed from his post on January 20, three days after police raided his apartment in the Galolhu ward under a court warrant.

Speaking to the media on the day of his dismissal, Nazim said that recent events had shown that no Maldivian was assured of safety and security.

Minivan News contacted department of immigration’s spokesman Hassan Khaleel who stated that travel plans of individuals cannot be revealed and so refused to provide confirmation regarding reports that Nazim’s passport has been held.

Nazim himself refused to comment on the matter, referring Minivan News to his lawyer Azima Shukoor who was not responding to calls at the time of publication.

Criminal Court Spokesman Ahmed Mohamed Manik said the relevant authorities will receive such court orders and that he is unable to confirm anything more.

Following Nazim’s dismissal Maldives Police Services (MPS) told the press that they had found dangerous weapons at Nazim’s house during the search, though they denied knowing it was Nazim’s home before the raid.

“Nazim and some of his family members were questioned regarding the weapons but they failed to adequately respond to the questions,” said Spokesman for Commissioner of Police Ahmed Shifan.

Meanwhile on January 22 Nazim’s legal team published a statement stating that he did not commit any act in violation of the law and that “he would like to assure everyone that he would not do anything in violation of the law in the future.”

Immigration are also currently holding the passport of former Deputy Speaker of the Majlis and Progressive Party of Maldives MP Ahmed Nazim though police have not revealed the details of the investigation.

Related to this story

Nazim dismissed as defence minister, replaced by Moosa Ali Jaleel

Dangerous weapons found in Nazim’s house during raid, say Police

Police raid Defence Minister Nazim’s home in early hours

Opposition condemns Defense Minister Nazim’s apartment raid


Changes brought to senior MNDF positions

President Abdulla Yameen has replaced two senior officers in the Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF), reports Haveeru.

In the first major changes to the MNDF following the dismissal of Mohamed Nazim as defence minister, Lieutenant Colonel Ahmed Fayaz (Papa) has replaced Major Ahmed Faisal as head of the Special Protection Group – charged with ensuring the security and safety of the president.

Captain Ibrahim Naeem is also reported to have been removed from the head of armory and replaced by MNDF intelligence head Lieutenant Colonel Abdul Rauf.

MNDF Spokesman Major Hussein Ali told Minivan News that routine changes were common, and that any information that has to be publicised will be.

The dismissal of Nazim from the post of minister of defence and national security came as a result of a police investigation into illegal weapons being kept in the minister’s home.

He had been in the position since February 2012 – one of the first appointments made by President Dr Mohamed Waheed following the controversial resignation of President Mohamed Nasheed.

Source: Haveeru


Cabinet approves implementation of SIM card user policy

The Maldives government yesterday (April 9) announced it will be initiating a SIM card user policy for all mobile phone services provided by Maldivian telecommunication companies.

According to the President’s Office website, cabinet had approved the implementation of the policy in order to tackle national security concerns over the “frequent misuse” of unregistered SIM cards in the country.

All SIM cards provided by Maldives-based telecommunications groups will now need to be registered following the cabinet’s decision to approve the user policy first presented in a paper from the Ministry of Transport and Communication.

Defence Minister Mohamed Nazim, who also serves as Acting Minister of Transport and Communication, was not responding to calls this morning.

Minivan News was meanwhile awaiting a response from the Communication Authority of Maldives at time of press about the SIM card user policy.


President “unaware of any illegal activities” as Artur brothers investigation continues

President Dr Mohamed Waheed has told local media he was not aware of any danger posed by the presence in the Maldives of two Armenian nationals identified as the Artur brothers, as police continue to investigate the duo’s operations locally.

Controversy has surrounded the presence of Margaryan and Sargayan Artur in the Maldives, primarily based around concerns over their alleged links to criminal activities in Kenya.

On Tuesday (April 2), parliament passed an extraordinary motion concerning the presence of the two foreign nationals in the Maldives, expressing concern that an alleged connection between certain cabinet ministers and the two men posed a “direct threat to national security”.

The President’s Office has maintained there is little information about the nature of the two foreign nationals’ business interests in the Maldives, claiming that the uncertainty about them extended to the exact pronunciation of the Artur name.

Asked about the controversy today, President Waheed told reporters he received no intelligence so far linking the Artur brothers to any criminal activity in the country, adding that much of his knowledge on them was based on local media reports.

“I know that they are in Maldives. I’m also looking into it,” he was quoted he told local media after returning to Male’ from an official visit to Kuwait.

“I didn’t know that they were engaged in any illegal activities,” President Waheed stated, after admitting the government were told by authorities of the brother’s presence in the country earlier this year.


President’s Office Spokesperson Masood Imad said that while police were currently in the process of investigating the activities of the Artur brothers in the Maldives, there was no information linking the two foreign nationals to any criminal operations in the country.

Police spokesperson Hassan Haneef told Minivan News that police investigations were continuing to determine if the two foreign nationals had been conducting any illegal activities in the country.  He added that no details into a “critical” ongoing case could be given at present.

However, a BMW car belonging to a company called ‘Artur Brother World Connection’ and registered for use in the Gaafu Dhaalu area was reportedly seized by authorities in Male’ today.

Haneef previously confirmed that police were aware of the Artur brothers presence in the Maldives back in January. He said authorities had contacted “relevant government authorities” at the time to inform them of the Artur brothers’ alleged links to drug trafficking, money laundering, raids on media outlets, dealings with senior government officials and other serious crimes in Kenya.

Minivan News understands that relevant authorities, including the Maldives National Defense Force (MNDF), Ministry of Home Affairs, and the President’s Office were officially informed in January of the presence of the Artur brothers, even as Tourism Minister Ahmed Adheeb signed a letter seeking residency permits for the pair.

Import business

Local media reported that a company registered locally as the “Artur Brothers World Connection” has secured an import license and brought goods into the country after the tourism ministry had granted both men a foreign investment permit.

“We have learned that they had imported some goods under that license. We haven’t been able to determine what those items are. It is not something the Ministry keeps track of. We have to find that out from the customs,” Finance Minister Ahmed Mohamed told Haveeru.

Immigration Controller Mohamed Ali has previously told local media that Artur Sargasyan left the Maldives on Sunday (March 31). Sargasyan first entered the Maldives on a tourist visa in August 2012 and returned again in October, Dr Ali said.

Meanwhile, photos of the Arturs in the company of Tourism Minister Ahmed Adheeb and Defense Minister Mohamed Nazim emerged on social media last weekend, apparently taken during the Piston Motor Racing Challenge held on Hulhumale’ between January 25 and 26.

One photo showed Artur Sargsyan next to Adheeb and Nazim, while another has him apparently starting one of the motorcycle races at the event, which was organised by the Maldivian National Defence Force (MNDF).

Another image showed Sargsyan at the red carpet opening for the Olympus Cinema.


Defense Minister Nazim and Tourism Minister Adheeb have denied any involvement with the pair.

Speaking to Minivan News this week, Adheeb reiterated that he had no personal links with the Artur brothers, whom he said had now left the country on his recommendation.

According to Adheeb, the Artur brothers had previously invested in the country through a registered joint venture company with members of the opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP).

Adheeb said he “advised them to leave peacefully and they agreed to sort out their visa and leave. They have now left.”

Parliamentary motion

Submitting a motion to parliament on Tuesday about the Artur’s presence in the Maldives, opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) MP Imthiyaz Fahmy raised concerns about their alleged connections with ministers Nazim and Adheeb.

“The Artur brothers are a direct threat to national security since they are – true to their old style and from the experiences of other countries – directly linked to the top government officials including Mr Mohamed Nazim who is both the Defense Minister and the acting Transport Minister, as well as Mr Ahmed Adheeb who is the Tourism Minister,” Fahmy told Minivan News.

Fahmy said the Artur brothers were believed to have carried out “all sorts of serious illegal activities internationally” and that the Maldives “is incapable of handling these notorious conmen from Armenia. They are capable of taking local criminal gangs to different heights.”

Fahmy explained that immigration laws do not permit entry into the Maldives if the visitor is “even suspected” of being involved in human smuggling or trafficking; may be [considered] a national threat, or otherwise may commit crimes against the state.”

“Given all these facts – and that the Artur brothers are  world-infamous for carrying out criminal activities of this sort – they were allowed into the country and seen publicly with top government officials,” Fahmy added, alleging that the pair have three meetings with Adheeb and Nazim on Hulhumale’ and on Club Faru.

The extraordinary motion passed with 27 votes in favour to 10 against.

Meanwhile, Kenyan media has this week media reported that the brothers’ practice of publicly ingratiating themselves with senior government officials appeared not to have changed.

“The Arturs’ mode of operation where they show up in the company of top and well-connected government leaders appears to have been replicated in the Maldives. Their presence in the Maldives comes days after ousted leader Mohammed Nasheed expressed fear over his life,” reported Kenya’s Daily Nation publication.


Indian comedy of errors in the Maldives: Deccan Herald

The Maldives — with a predominantly Sunni population of 400,000, the ending of President M.A. Gayoom’s 30-year rule and the US war on terror post-9/11 — was ripe for the emergence of radical Islamists and their convergence with Gayoom loyalists, writes for K C Singh for India’s Deccan Herald.

Mr Nasheed’s election convinced New Delhi that the Mal­dives was on a path of self-correcting liberal democracy. But even wh­en warning signals began emanating that the tourism industry was being targeted on narrow principles of faith and that Mr Nasheed was alienating his alliance partners, corrective measures were not taken.

Firstly, India erred in quickly endorsing the transfer of power from Mr Nasheed to Mr Waheed without ensuring that the latter ex­cluded sympathisers of radicals from critical Cabinet posts (the home minister went to a Pak­istani religious school), announced early elections and struck a truce with the outgoing Pre­sident.

The unseemly haste in India’s Prime Minister writing to the new Pre­sident lost that opportunity. The next mistake was in neither anticipating the attack on the Indian company GMR, to whom the awarding of the contract to run the Male airport was a showpiece decision of the Nasheed government, nor defending it when a clear motivating factor was the business interests of Mr Waheed’s coalition partner.

Finally, the Nasheed affair has been handled without political fine­s­se. Resting Indian interests on the fate of one ob­viously flawed personality, exposing his Indian links by having him sit cowering in India’s mission and thus letting anti-Indian and pro-Islamic sentiments swirl is foolhardy. Gayoom has positioned himself cleverly. He has neither supported India nor criticised it. His daughter, who is in the run for presidency, benefits fr­om the division between Mr Nasheed and Mr Waheed. We should not have abandoned Mr Na­sheed in 2012, and having done so not got stuck with him.

Disraeli, as Prime Minister in 1877, frustrated by his maladroit diplomats wrote, “They seem quite useless. It is difficult to control eve­nts, but none of them try to.” His ambassador in Berlin he felt was “… rep­o­rting all Bismarck’s bravado… in an ecstasy of sycophantic wo­nder”. Perhaps our Pri­me Minister needs to ask the same question to his diplomats and his nati­onal security adviser.

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Maldives’ new defence policy rests on “Islam and national unity”: President Waheed

President Dr Mohamed Waheed Hassan yesterday described the Maldives’ first ever National Defence Policy as “the main axis of civil protection”, resting on a bedrock of Islam and national unity.

Waheed’s comments came during the official launch of the policy white papers at the Islamic Centre in Male’, yesterday morning.

In his speech, Waheed described the policies as “institutionalised embodiments of civil protection” which ought to be respected by all government bodies.

“Contained [within] are also important policies which protect individual, social and economic freedoms, and promote environmental conservation in conjunction with strategies for sustainable development,” said Waheed.

The President stressed that civil protection was not just the responsibility of a few institutions, highlighting the importance of “sharing common objectives, so as to facilitate adherence to a well-determined course of action.”

Waheed also launched the new Ministry of Defence and National Security website, which included further details of the policies.

The site, designed as a portal for the Ministry’s public services, stated that the Defence and Security policies are available on its own as well as the President’s Office website.

Neither document was available at the time of press although Colonel Abdul Raheem of the Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) told Minivan News that they would be available soon.

When asked why the government had decided to produce these policy documents, the first time the country has done so, Raheem said that it was a standard practice in other countries.

No spokesman for the President’s Office was available at the time of press.

“The National Security Policy outlines a fundamental and comprehensive framework on inter-related issues and concerns that may impinge on national security,” reported the Ministry’s statement.

“The National Defence Policy outlines the way forward to fulfill the mandate of the Ministry of Defence and National Security and gives policy guidance to the three major components under the Ministry; the Maldives National Defence Force, Disaster Management Center and Aviation Security Command,” it continued.

The statement described the National Security Policy as providing national priorities in order to guide related policies across all government departments.

“It guides the national decision making process so that the sovereignty and territorial integrity, the well-being of the people and state institutions and other national interests are protected and enhanced,” read the statement.

State Minister for Islamic Affairs Sheikh Mohamed Shaheem Ali told Minivan News that he fully supported the new National Defence Policy.

“I feel it is important to get protection from acts of terrorism and extremism”, he said

Indian Defence Minister to visit

The Minister of Defence and National Security, Mohamed Nazim, has this week invited Indian Defence Minister A.K. Anthony to visit the country to officiate at the opening of the Maldivian Military Hospital as well as to the lay the foundation stone for the new MNDF training academy.

An Indian government press release has revealed that Anthony will be accompanied by a high level delegation which will include Defence Secretary Shashi Kant Sharma.

Having last visited the Maldives in 2009, international headlines have linked this visit to the rapidly expanding relations between the Maldives and China.

Waheed visited China at the start of the month, where he finalised agreements for a package of loans amounting to $500million (MVR7.7billion).

Despite Sino-Maldivian links having grown largely due to China providing more tourists to the Maldives than any other nation, the enhanced ties have led to speculation regarding Chinese naval ambitions in the Indian Ocean – often referred to as the ‘string of pearls’ theory.

Former Maldivian Foreign Minister Dr Ahmed Shaheed acknowledged at the time of Waheed’s state visit that India would be worried after its perceived diplomatic failings during the Maldives’ recent political upheavals.

However, Shaheed added that increased economic ties in the absence of new military ones did not represent a policy shift by the new government.

The Indian government this week extended a further $25million to the Maldives as part of a $100million credit facility agreed last November.

In a comment piece for local paper Haveeru today, Special Advisor to the President Dr Hassan Saeed lamented the government’s growing reliance on foreign aid.

“The reality is that our long held beliefs and values are today tradable commodities. Our sovereignty is compromised and we enjoy far less respect,” wrote Dr Hassan.

The Indian government reported that its defense minister would seek to strengthen cooperation in the defence sector during his visit to the Maldives.

It drew attention to the regular interactions between the countries’ military forces, which this year has included joint naval patrols of the Maldives’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).


Nasheed “highest authority liable” for Judge Abdulla detention: HRCM

The Human Rights Commission of the Maldives (HRCM) has concluded former President Mohamed Nasheed was the “highest authority liable” for the military-led detention of Criminal Court Chief Judge Abdulla Mohamed.

Along with Nasheed, the report concluded that the former president’s Defence Minister, Tholhath Ibrahim Kaleyfaanu, was a second key figure responsible for the decision to detain Judge Abdulla on January 16.

The commission stated that the judge was not physically harmed during the 22-day detention at the military training island of Girifushi.  However, the HRCM did claim that the government had “violated his human dignity” and made attempts to manipulate the judge through a psychologist who visited him at the facility where he was detained.

These alleged attempts at manipulation were said to include efforts to remove the judge from his senior position, as well as forcing him to leave the country, the commission’s findings stated.

“The investigation reveals the highest authority liable for the arrest and detention of Judge Abdulla at Girifushi, as well as depriving him of fundamental constitutional rights, is former President Mohamed Nasheed.  Under him was the former Minister of Defence and National Security Tholhath Ibrahim Kaleyfaanu who gave orders to the Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF),” the HRCM added.

“Furthermore, as this operation was carried out by the MNDF, the [commission] believes that the Chief of Defence Force, Moosa Ali Jaleel should take responsibility.  Those who issued unconstitutional orders and those who obeyed the orders must also share responsibility on various levels,” the commission added.

The commission’s findings released on Tuesday (August 21), concluded that Judge Abdulla’s arrest was a clear violation of both the country’s laws and its constitution.  The report also stated that judge’s human rights and fundamental freedoms, guaranteed under international law, were also denied.

HRCM explained that its investigation had found that the pair were both behind the “unlawful orders” to approve the judge’s arrest, which was a violation of article 46 of the Constitution, particularly violation of Article 12 clause (a) of the Judges Act.

Article 44 of the Maldives Constitution states: “No person shall be arrested or detained for an offence unless the arresting officer observes the offence being committed, or has reasonable and probable grounds or evidence to believe the person has committed an offence or is about to commit an offence, or under the authority of an arrest warrant issued by the court.”

Article 12 clause (a) of the Judges Act states that a judge can be arrested without a court warrant, but only if he is found committing a criminal act. The same article also states that if a judge comes under suspicion of committing a criminal act or being about to commit a criminal act, they can only be taken into custody with a court warrant obtained from a higher court than that of which the judge presently sits on.  This warrant has to be sought by the prosecutor general.

However, the commission observed that the warrant was not obtained.  Additionally, orders to release the judge by the Supreme Court, High Court, the country’s lower courts and the prosecutor general were ignored.

Both Nasheed and Tholhath, alongside former Chief of Defence Force Major General Moosa Ali Jaleel, Brigadier Ibrahim Mohamed Didi and Colonel Mohamed Ziyad are already facing charges for their alleged role in detaining Judge Abdulla in January.

The charges include a breach of article 81 of the Penal Code: “Arresting an innocent person intentionally and unlawfully by a state employee with the legal authority or power vested to him by his position is an offence. Punishment for a person guilty of this offence is imprisonment or banishment for 3 years or a fine of MVR 2000 (US$129.70).”

These charges were filed by the Prosecutor General’s Office in July, based on the findings of HRCM investigation, which were not publicly released at the time.

The judge was arrested by the military on request of police after he blocked a summons to present himself to the police headquarters for questioning and later opened the court outside normal hours to order the immediate release of current Home Minister and Deputy Leader of the Dhivehi Quamee Party Dr Mohamed Jameel Ahmed.  Jameel was arrested after the President’s Office requested an investigation into so-called “slanderous” allegations he made that the government was working under the influence of “Jews and Christian priests” to weaken Islam in the Maldives.

The government contended that the judge was a “threat to national security” after he lodged an appeal at High Court to cancel police summons, which granted an injunction until it reached a verdict on the appeal.

The Nasheed administration accused the judge of political bias, obstructing police, stalling cases, having links with organised crime and “taking the entire criminal justice system in his fist” to protect key figures of the former dictatorship from human rights and corruption cases.

In August 2010, the judge was publicly accused by the police of “obstructing high-profile corruption cases.”

However, the commission’s report concluded that its investigation proved that Judge Abdulla was not a threat to national security, on the grounds that no meeting of the National Security Council was held at the time.

The Commission also observed that its requests and attempts to visit Judge Abdullah were unfulfilled by the MNDF and government.  Conversely, it  deemed the arrest as an attempt to “influence” his role as Criminal Court chief judge.

The HRCM report also identified what it called breaches of multiple rights and freedoms of Judge Abdullah during the detention process.  These were said to include; the right to be treated equal before law and right to the equal protection and benefit [article 20];  right to life, liberty and security [article 21]; freedom to travel or move within and outside the country [article 41]; Procedurally Fair and and lawful administrative action [article 43];  the right to be to be informed immediately of the reasons for detention and to be brought within24 hours before a Judge [article 48(a) and  (d) ]; right to the assistance of legal counsel [article 53] and no subjection to cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment or punishment, or to torture under [article 54].

Furthermore, it noted that the arrest of the Judge contravened section 8 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which states: “Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the constitution or by law.”

Furthermore, violations were said to include, the right he “not be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile” [section 9] and similarly not being subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to suffer attacks upon a person’s honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks [section 12].

HRCM has also observed that “anyone who is deprived of their liberty by arrest or detention shall be entitled to take proceedings before a court, in order that that court may decide without delay on the lawfulness of his detention and order his release if the detention is not lawful” under section 9(d) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the same declaration, section 10(a) states that: “All persons deprived of their liberty shall be treated with humanity and with respect for the inherent dignity of the human person.”

It also states that the “Declaration on the Protection of all Persons from Enforced Disappearance” prohibits the arrest, detention or abduction of a person against their will or otherwise deprived of their liberty by officials of different branches or levels of Government, or by organized groups or private individuals acting on behalf of, or with the support, direct or indirect, consent or acquiescence of the Government, followed by a refusal to disclose the fate or whereabouts of the persons concerned or a refusal to acknowledge the deprivation of their liberty, which places such persons outside the protection of the law.

“Therefore, the [arrest of Judge Abdullah] was carried out in contravention of the aforementioned rights and freedoms guaranteed under the international declarations.” the HRCM concluded.


Criminal Court releases former police intelligence chief

The Criminal Court has ordered the release of former head of police intelligence Chief Superintendent Mohamed Hameed from custody, just a few hours after the High Court upheld its decision to keep him detained.

The five-day detention warrant granted by the Criminal Court expired on Tuesday at 2:00pm, and Hameed was brought before the court by the police with a request for further extension.

However contrary to its first decision, the court sanctioned Hameed’s release by concluding that it “does not believe the detention should be extended any further.”

Police have accused the former intelligence chief for “threatening the internal security” or jeopardizing domestic harmony of the country following his contribution to the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP)’s report (Dhivehi) into the controversial transfer of power on February 7.

As Hameed walked out of the court, he was greeted by former President Mohamed Nasheed who welcomed him and shook hands, while eager MDP supporters circling the area hailed Chief Superintendent Hameed as a “national hero”.

High Court’s “ridiculous” ruling

Following the Criminal Court’s previous decision to keep Hameed detained for five days, his family appealed the case in High court, contesting the legitimacy of Criminal Court’s decision to extend his detention.

On Tuesday morning the three judge panel presiding over the case – Judge Abdu Rauf, Judge Shuaib Hussain Zakariyya and Judge Abdul Ghanee – unanimously ruled that they “found no legal grounds” to declare the criminal court’s decision unlawful.

Hameed’s lawyer Ismail Visham argued in court that his client had been subjected to discrimination.

Visham told the court that there were police officers accused of more serious crimes who had not been detained, alleging that in one instance a senior police officer stood accused of attempting to rape a woman and in another incident, influence a judge in a case involving the police officer’s interest.

He further contended that the Criminal Court judge had extended Hameed’s detention period not based on what the police told the judge, but based on the judge’s own view, and that Hameed had therefore lost the right to respond to the accusations.

In response, the state attorney said that Hameed was accused not of a disciplinary matter but a criminal offence, and argued that the Criminal Court judge had declared Hameed a threat to society because police told the judge he might seek to “intimidate witnesses” and “destroy evidence”.

The High Court judges concluded that the defense had not provided enough evidence to substantiate discrimination claims.

The ruling also stated that the constitution does not prohibit the presiding judge from considering reasons in addition to what is provided by the police, in cases concerning the extension of a suspect’s detention.

Following the High Court decision, Hameed’s family today called the ruling “ridiculous” as his detention period was due to expire at 2:00pm today.

“The five day extension will come to an end at 2:00pm today and he will be brought to court again to either have his custody extended or be released. The timing of the High Court verdict on his appeal is ridiculous since his five days are up today anyway,” a family member said.

Witch-hunt against police whistleblowers

In a statement released today, police have said the investigation against Hameed is continuing.

Police allege the Chief Superintendent “distributed information obtained pertinent to his tenure as Head of the Intelligence Department, police matters and internal security, along with [providing] misleading information to certain individuals for reaping benefit out of it to cause divisions between police officers and the community.”

The Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) meanwhile held protests last weekend calling for Hameed’s immediate release, claiming that is arrest is “further evidence of the Maldives’ rapid descent into a police state” and that it is a “witch-hunt” against honest officers revealing the criminal offenses committed by rogue police officers on February 7.

“Brave men and women who wish to stand up for the rule of law, for democracy and for human rights are today subjected to constant threats and intimidation. This purge of police officers who the Government considers possible opponents demonstrates President Waheed’s growing paranoia and the fact that his coalition Government are determined to rule by fear,” MDP’s Spokesperson Hamid Abdul Ghafoor said in a statement released last week.

“MDP calls on the EU, the US, the UN Human Rights Council and others to urgently enquire into the well-being of these police officers and to hold this illegal government accountable for their growing use of violence and intimidation for political means,” he added.

President’s spokesperson Abbas Adil Riza told Minivan News today that government has no plans of intervening in the case as it is a “police matter”.

“But if police find a case against him” Riza said, “the government will support the any decision to uphold the laws and constitution.”

He further added: “The Police Act governs conducts of police officers and treatment of information individual receive as officers. It is the policy of the government that no civil secret be released.”