Two MDP activists arrested on allegations of planning arson attacks

Police arrested two opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) activists on allegations of planning acts of arson on Friday night.

Shiyan Shafeeq ‘Shiyalhey’ and ‘Maalimee’ Ibrahim Ahmed were arrested on Friday night (March 13) during an MDP protest ahead of former President Mohamed Nasheed’s conviction on terrorism charges.

Nasheed was found guilty of ordering the arrest of Criminal Court Chief Judge Abdulla Mohamed in January 2012 and sentenced to 13 years in prison.

According to local media, the Criminal Court on Saturday extended the pair’s remand detention to ten days.

Police arrested 13 other protesters on Friday night, all of whom have since been released from custody.

Shiyalhey was also arrested in 2012 on allegations of disrupting public order, attacking security services personnel, and causing disturbances during anti-government demonstrations.


Police to charge MDP activist for planning civic disruption on March 19, 2012

Police have charged 43 year-old Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) activist Shiyan ‘Shiyalhey’ Shafeeq for disrupting public order, creating instability, planning arson attacks and assaulting security services during a city-wide protest on March 19, 2012.

Police alleged Shiyan not only planned the attacks but also was involved in committing these crimes. The case was forwarded to the Prosecutor General’s Office on July 14, police said.

Shiyalhey has been arrested several times previously on charges of disrupting public order and creating violence during political demonstrations.

The MDP held the March 19 protest to disrupt President Mohamed Waheed’ s attempt to give the opening address to parliament. Waheed had been sworn in just over a month earlier, following the controversial resignation of President Mohamed Nasheed

A group of 200 anti-government protesters replete with MDP and Maldivian national flags staged a sit down demonstration outside Majeediyya school near the parliament in protest over the President delivering his address, while inside the parliament chamber MDP MP’s barricaded the door to prevent the new president from entering.

The charges followed the high court’s recent upholding of a seven year prison term for eight men accused of throwing stones at the government-aligned VTV station on the day of the protests.

Appealing the sentence, Hameed argued that it was extraordinary practice for the court to impose the maximum possible sentence on a first time offender with no criminal record.

However the High Court, noting that the sentence was three to seven years, deferred to the discretion of the Criminal Court judge.

VTV is owned by MP Gasim Ibrahim, a resort tycoon, presidential candidate and member of the Judicial Services Commission (JSC) tasked with disciplining the judiciary.


Police forward MDP MP Inthi’s case to Prosecutor General

Police have concluded investigation and forwarded for criminal prosecution a case against Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) MP Imthiyaz Fahmy ‘Inthi’.

According to a police statement, the Prosecutor General’s Office (PGO) has been requested to charge Inthi with disobeying orders, obstructing police duty and physically assaulting a female police officer during an MDP demonstration on May 29 that followed the dismantling of the former ruling party’s protest camp at Usfasgandu.

However in a statement condemning “excessive use of force” against demonstrators, Amnesty International reported that according to MP Imthiyaz, “police in Dhoonidhoo told him he was arrested for ‘disrupting peace’. The next day, in court, police stated that he had been detained for ‘physically attacking a woman police officer.”

Police arrested Inthi along with 56 other MDP activists on May 29 after police raided the MDP protest camp with a search warrant from the Criminal Court.

“I was arrested at the MDP protest camp and the court released me, after the police told the judge that I had assaulted a female officer at Usfasgandu,” Inthi told local media.

Police have also forwarded a case against MDP activist Shiyan ‘Shiyalhey’ Shafeeq of H. Hedheythundi to the PGO.

Shiyalhey faces charges of arson, disruption of public order and attacking officers of the armed forces.