PPM pledges harsher punishments for assaulting police, ‘obstructing police duty’

Punishments for obstructing police duty and assaulting police officers will be made harsher under a Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) administration, according to PPM vice presidential candidate and former Home Minister Mohamed Jameel Ahmed, reports local media.

Jameel noted that punishments for those who call for attacking police will be made harsher by amending the Penal Code as part of PPM’s policy for maintaining peace and security.

He pledged that a PPM government would try and ‘wrap up’ all criminal investigations and send them for prosecution within a month, as well as make “major changes” to investigative mechanisms.

“At the end of the party’s first five-year period, mechanisms will be set up to facilitate for prosecution to proceed within 24 hours,” said Jameel.

Surveillance mechanisms will be installed “across the whole Maldives” as well as “state-of-the-art forensic facilities”, he added.


Male’ City Council member charged with obstructing police duty

Male’ City Council member Ibrahim Sujau has been charged with obstructing police duty, reports local media.

Sujau allegedly refused to comply with a police officer’s request to see his licence while driving a motorcycle on the evening of November 12, 2012, Criminal Court Spokesperson Ahmed Mohamed Manik told local media.

At approximately 5:48pm Sujau was allegedly driving his motorcycle on Sosun Magu in Male’, while speaking on his mobile phone, and was then questioned by police after stopping his vehicle, Manik said.

Sujau is accused of disobeying the officer’s request to be taken to the traffic police via police vehicle – claiming he was not required to do so – in addition to not showing his drivers license, Manik added.


Two men arrested playing football during President’s visit to Kan’ditheemu

Two men were arrested while playing football on Kan’ditheemu island in Shaviyani Atoll during President Dr Waheed Hassan Manik’s visit on January 26, one of whom remains in police custody.

Police Spokesperson Hassan Haneef confirmed to Minivan News that “one person from Kan’ditheemu island in Shaviyani Atoll has been arrested for obstructing police duty and is being held [in the regional capital] Funadhoo for 10 days.”

A source with knowledge of the police investigation confirmed two men had initially been taken into police custody, however one was released without charge.

“The police are responsible for security issues and made a decision based on the rule of law,” Kan’ditheemu Island Council President Nasrullah told Minivan News.

Multiple witnesses from Kan’ditheemu claim that Ahmed “Aabe” Agil was “forcefully” arrested, despite not breaking any laws or causing any disturbance.

Hussain Naushaad, a 19 year-old football player, was also arrested and held in police custody for two hours on Kan’ditheemu. He was released upon Waheed’s departure.

Approximately 30 minutes prior to Agil’s arrest, around 25 youth primarily consisting of students were “warming up” for the daily afternoon football match, on the pitch across the road from Shaviyani Atoll School. The footballers were passing balls back and forth on the main road of Bodu Magu, sources stated.

At the same time, Waheed was headed towards the school, but had not yet arrived.

Naushaad claimed he accidentally kicked the football into the school wall twice.

“A police officer from Funadhoo came and said ‘don’t hit the wall again’. The officer waited some time and then left, so we kept practicing.

“I passed the ball again and it hit the wall, which is when the police officer came and arrested me,” Naushaad explained.

A witness told Minivan News that when Naushaad was arrested many of the players commented to police that “this is not good” and “this is not the way you have to act”.

During the football match that took place immediately following Naushaad’s arrest, two footballs were inadvertently kicked over the fence and into the road. The police then confiscated these balls, according to witnesses.

“If play is prohibited then you must say that before we start. The police came and took two balls that went on the road but never said to stop playing,” sources explained.

According to one witness, Agil told the police “even if you take those balls, we can still keep playing.”

“The police don’t have a legitimate answer [for why he was arrested]. The real problem is that he talked back to the police,” the witness added.

“Most of those playing were students and everyone was shouting ‘baghee’ [traitor], but not directly to any officers in particular,” a witness said.

According to another witness, police believed Agil was “purposefully causing a disturbance and they suddenly ran onto the field and arrested him.”

“He was not resisting arrest or speaking, but the police still took him forcefully. There was no need for that,” another witness said.

“They took him because they are [Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party] bagees and they wanted to arrest him,” yet another witness remarked.

The sentiment was echoed by a further witness: “this is baghee nonsense,” he said.

Agil was arrested in his football practice gear and was not permitted to take a change of clothes, nor did the police inform his wife as to why he was being arrested or how long he would be in police custody, according to a source close to Agil’s wife.

The source added that Agil was being held on Funadhoo and has been permitted to call his wife once a day under strict supervision. He was periodically being taken to the court on a nearby island, because there is no magistrate present to preside over the Funadhoo court.

Agil was initially being held for five days, however this was later extended to 10 days.

Police provoking political polarisation

“This is a sad issue. Aabe is a very, very important youth member of our community. I do not want or like to see anyone arrested,” said the Island Council President, Nasrullah.

A source on Kan’ditheemu alleged the island council keeps a list of Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) activists for police, Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM), and DRP members to “concentrate on”.

The same source claimed that DRP and PPM members are threatening MDP supporters living on Kan’ditheemu, particularly those not originally from the island.

“They are making problems and saying that if those people are supporting the MDP, they will come against them. The day after Waheed’s visit, MDP members had their property destroyed. Motorcycle seats and hanging laundry were slashed with a knife,” the source added.

Asked about these allegations Nasrullah stated, “The 100 percent truth: there is no list of MDP members being targeted, the island council is not supporting this.

“Inappropriate graffiti was also put on an island council member’s wall. We want people to come and visit our island, there will be no one kicked off Kan’ditheemu. No one at the island council level has agreed to such things,” he added.

A source close to the island council stated that youth on the island were just angry about the arrest and were spreading rumours.

“President Waheed’s trip was successful, but sad things have happened because of it. I’m very sorry, deep in my heart I cried,” the source added.

While visiting Kan’ditheemu, President Waheed “expressed [his] appreciation of the unity of the people of Kan’ditheemu in working towards the development of the island, steering clear of any differences.”


Police submit cases to PG alleging damage to Alifushi police station on Feb 8

Police on Monday submitted cases to the Prosecutor General (PG) against 24 individuals charged with damaging the police station on Alifushi in Raa Atoll, and obstructing police work during the February 8 protests.

Police stated that the 24 individuals were charged for forcefully entering the police station around 7.45pm on the night of February 8, threatening officers on duty, forcing them to evacuate the premises, damaging the station building and for obstructing the police service.

The 24 people charged includes 20 men from the island of Alifushi itself. They are: Hassan Ahmed, 30, Velaanaage; Hassan Nashid, 30, Fasaanaa; Nail Abdulla, 25, RoashaneeAage; Muaviyath Abdul Latheef, 30, Scenery; Ahmed Mohamed, 22, Seny; Ismail Saif, 26, HabibiHap, Moosa Niyaz, 27 and Abdulla Niyaz, 24, Snow; Ali Fayaz, 31, Malaaz; Fazal Ibrahim, 19, NightHouse; Abdul Majid Moosa, 33, Hudhuasurumaage; Adam Shareef, 41 and Ibrahim Shareef, 29, VareyVilla; Abdul Hameed, 55, SameeVilla; Yameen Ibrahim, 26, Panama; Ishaq Adam, 28, Moonlight; Faruhadh Mohamed, 33, and Abdul Hafeez Mohamed, 27, HusnooVilla; Ahmed Riyaz, 21, Redfish, Shiyan Ibrahim, 28, Niuma.

The other four men are Mohamed Ramzy, 24, Shifana Villa, Lhaviyani Atoll Lhaimagu; Ahmed Giyas, 26, Berebedhimaage, Lhaviyani Atoll Naifaru; Hassan Simah, 30, Giyarest, Haa Dhaalu Atoll Neykurendhoo and Mohamed Ziyau, 26, of Samantha, Raa Atoll Rasgetheemu.

Police Spokesperson Sub-Inspector Hassan Haneef told Minivan News that police were looking into damage caused to police stations across all areas of the Maldives on February 8. He confirmed that police were not investigating damage caused to the police and MNDF headquarters by police and civilians on February 6-7, stating that “it makes no sense for police to look into this matter ourselves.”

Haneef said instead that the damage would be investigated under procedures determined by the government.

Local news sites have previously reported that in addition to damages to police offices, the state has submitted 409 cases concerning charges of arson on February 8 to the PG.

Meanwhile the Police Integrity Commission in its report into the events of February 6-7 stated that they had found in their investigations that ‘some among the police officers gathered in the Republican Square” had caused damage to the police headquarters, further stating that these would be treated as separate offences.

Minivan News tried contacting President’s Office Media Secretary Masood Imad and the Vice Chair of the Police Integrity Commission, Abdulla Waheed, but neither was responding to calls at the time of press.


MPs Ali Waheed and Ahmed Mahloof facing criminal charges for obstructing police duty

Two former Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) MPs Ali Waheed and Ahmed Mahloof are facing criminal charges for allegedly obstructing police duty during an opposition protest that took place in 2010.

Prosecutor General (PG) claimed that the two MPs entered a restricted area cordoned off by police during the night of March 25, 2010, near the former presidential residence of Muleaage, and had showed disobedience to the police officers in the area.

Both Mahloof and Waheed are facing charges under the article 75 of the Maldives Police Services Act.

During the first hearing held yesterday, after the charges were read to the defendant MPs, Mahloof requested the judge carry out the trial separately stating that although he and Waheed were once in the same party, times had changed and the pair now followed different political beliefs and parties.

However, presiding judge Abdulla Didi declined Mahloof’s request stating that the state had levied one charge against both him and his parliamentary colleague, and said that differing political beliefs was immaterial to the case that was being heard.

Meanwhile, Waheed stated that he was unclear about the charges pressed against him. He added that he was not someone who would ever confront police with arms and questioned whether it was only him and Mahloof that were there during the protests.

Responding to Waheed’s claims, the state attorney stated that the charges did not mention that Waheed had attempted to confront the police with arms, and also mentioned that others were involved.

The state prosecutors said they had decided to prosecute Waheed and Mahloof because they had obtained evidence supporting the charges.

Both Mahloof and Waheed requested to proceed with the trial after seeking legal counsel.

During today’s hearing, the judge questioned the state as to why the case had been delayed for such a long period. The state responded that the case had been earlier submitted but later withdrawn because the PG observed that there was a “lack of fairness” in sending cases to court.

Adjourning the session, Judge Abdulla stated that a date for the next hearing would be announced later and that the case would be scheduled at the earliest available date.

This is the second time the case has been forwarded to trial.

Earlier in November 2010 the case was sent to trial but the PG withdrew the matter, stating that police had failed to submit a case that involved then ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) activists entering the Civil Services Commission (CSC) office and harassing their staff.

The former government had criticised the PG following their actions, and claimed that the PG was politically-aligned instead of being impartial. In their defence, the PG stated that police had been sending cases involving [former] opposition politicians and while failing to send cases of MDP activists, which meant that the government was pressing charges that were politically motivated.

An official from the PG told local media today that the case had been re-sent along with the case involving MDP activists harassing CSC employees.


With the trial to proceed, the now-opposition MDP has raised concerns stating that the case had lost its meaning because of the delay in prosecution.

In a statement, the MDP claimed that “Without considering the legal principle ‘justice delayed is justice denied’,  we would like to bring to notice that the state is prosecuting meaningless cases while more important cases remain unprosecuted, while others have already been dismissed,” read the statement.

MDP described the prosecution as a “series of attempts to hurt” its members after the MDP government was toppled on February 7.

Waheed, speaking to local media after the hearing, stated that he would not be threatened by such cases that the current government was pressing against him, and said he would “face the charges with courage”.

He also asked the PG to prosecute him for even “slightest” wrong he had committed.

“This prosecution is not just a prosecution levied against me, this is a prosecution that is levied against the 50,000 members of MDP and the majority of the citizens of Thoddu constituency,” he said.

Waheed further said that despite the efforts by the government to pressure him, he would not leave the MDP to support an illegitimate government.

Both Waheed and Mahloof were elected to parliament under the ticket of DRP.

However, following the split of the DRP into two factions, both Waheed and Mahloof chose to leave their former party and head to two different directions.

Mahloof joined the newly formed Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM), the party formed by the DRP members who supported former President Gayoom and opposed the DRP’s leader, MP Ahmed Thasmeen Ali.

Waheed defected to MDP and was later elected as the deputy parliamentary group leader of the party.

MDP Spokesperson Imthiyaz Fahmy was not responding at time of press.