MP Alhan Fahmy returns to Malé following stabbing

Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) MP Alhan Fahmy has returned to the Maldives after recuperating in Sri Lanka following a stab attack in Malé last month.

Local media reported that the Feydhoo constituency member returned yesterday, walking with a crutch following initial fears that the wound received to his back may have caused permanent paralysis.

Alhan, set to contest for his parliamentary seat as an independent later this month, is said to be planning a press conference in the near future, reported Haveeru.

The Civil Court last week accepted the MP’s request to look into the MDP’s Feydhoo primary contest – which took place just days before the attack. Alhan has claimed the vote was fraudulent.


Stabbed MP undergoes surgery in Sri Lanka

Maldivian Democratic Party MP Alhan Fahmy has been flown to Sri Lanka for surgery after being stabbed yesterday evening.

The Feydhoo constituency MP’s brother Azbaan, has told Minivan News Alhan’s condition is “very serious” – he had been in surgery for over three hours as of 4pm today (February 2).

“I think it is an organised political attack, because Alhan doesn’t have any other issues,” said Azbaan. “Somebody is politically unhappy with him, otherwise there is no other reason.”

He noted, however, that his brother had received no intelligence from police of an impending attack prior to yesterday’s incident.

Azbaan was with Alhan at the popular Breakwater cafe in the capital Malé when he was stabbed by his assailant at around 9pm. Police apprehended an 18 year old man at the scene, also finding a knife nearby.

Police have confirmed that a further two men have been arrested in relation to the stabbing. Two of the three now in custody have had their detention period extended to ten days, while the third will appear before judges later this evening.

MDP spokesman Imthiyaz ‘Inthi’ Fahmy described the attack as “very difficult to understand”, though he also suspects an organised attack.

“This is a planned one – I’m sure, I can tell that. The license plates of the motorbikes were changed before they came to the place to attack Alhan – that’s what I heard from sources,” said Inthi.

Inthi expressed dismay at the attack, noting that politicians needed to be free to work without fear, describing yesterday’s attack as a deliberate attempt to murder Alhan.

An official statement from the MDP’s parliamentary group today condemned the attack, expressing concern that “attackers are not hesitant to carry out such attacks in public”.

“This attack shows the loss of public order and justice. The MDP parliamentary group calls for a proper investigation and calls for the perpetrators to be brought to justice.”

Parliamentary group member Hamid Abdul Ghafoor described the continued intimidation of MPs as a “war that had gotten physical”.

Hamid suggested that the country’s recent moves toward democracy have made it more difficult to silence MPs:

“Before, you just disappeared. Now, they have to play outside of the law,” said Hamid, citing the murder of MP Dr Afrasheem Ali in 2012.

Cases involving Afrasheem, Hamid, and Alhan are currently being monitored by the Inter-Parliamentary Union, which organised an urgent visit to the Maldives late last year after expressing concerns over the intimidation of MPs.

Last August, Alhan was summoned by police in connection with the alleged blackmailing of Supreme Court Justice Ali Hameed, using footage of the judge having sex with two foreign women said to be prostitutes.

The MP tweeted a screenshot of a text message he claimed had been sent to his mobile phone by Superintendent of Police Mohamed Riyaz. The text read: “Alhan, will make sure you are fully famed (sic) for blackmailing Justice Ali Hameed. You don’t know who we are.’’


Opposition MP Alhan Fahmy stabbed

Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) MP Alhan Fahmy has been stabbed in Malé this evening, while at the Breakwater cafe in the artificial beach area of the capital.

Eyewitnesses have said that police caught and arrested one of the opposition MP’s attackers. Police officials were officially able to confirm only that a man had been stabbed at around 9pm this evening.

Minivan News witnessed a lot of blood at the scene, with a large area having been cordoned off by police.

The MP has been taken to ADK hospital for treatment. A video emerging in local media appears to show a stricken Alhan arriving at hospital on the back of a pick-up truck with what appeared to be a wound on his back, around the shoulder area.

Alhan’s brother is reported to have told local media that his brother received a stab wound to the back.

The results of the final MDP parliamentary primaries were officially revealed today, with Alhan losing the Feydhoo constituency seat to Mohamed Nihad, who received 316 votes to the incumbent’s 154.

After the results of the primary contest emerged, Alhan alleged irregularities in the vote via social media, declaring his intention to challenge the outcome.

I don’t accept the results of MDP Feydhoo Parliament Primaries . I have officially informed the party of election irregularities.

— Alhan Fahmy (@FahmyAlhan) January 31, 2014

The MDP’s primary election to determine the contestants for next month’s parliamentary elections, has been marred by suggestions of irregularities.

Machangoalhi Uthuru candidate Aishath Velezinee last week complained of manipulation of party registries, while prominent Raajje TV journalist Ibrahim ‘Asward’ Waheed suggested the number of ballots cast had exceeded the eligible voters after narrowly losing the Maafannu-south constituency race.

The MDP’s election complaints committee has investigated the latter, finding the contest to have been fair.

Political past

Alhan has had a chequered recent past with the MDP, rejoining the party in June last year after an apparently acrimonious departure in April of the previous year. Then party vice president, Alhan was ejected – alongside then party President Dr Ibrahim Didi – after the pair publicly questioned the party’s official interpretation of the February 7 ousting of President Mohamed Nasheed.

The Feydhoo MP subsequently organised a rally – sparsely attended – calling for the freeing of the MDP from its talismanic leader Nasheed. Alhan’s soon joined the government-aligned Jumhooree Party,

Alhan was initially elected to parliament on a Dhivehi Rayithunge Party (DRP) ticket, making him one of the few MPs to have been a member of almost every major political party represented in parliament, barring the DRP’s splinter party, the Progressive Party of the Maldives (PPM).

He was dismissed from the DRP in 2010 for breaking the party’s whip line in a no-confidence vote against then Foreign Minister, Dr Ahmed Shaheed

Last August, Alhan was summoned by police in connection with the alleged blackmailing of Supreme Court Justice Ali Hameed, using footage of the judge having sex with two foreign women said to be prostitutes.

The MP tweeted a screenshot of a text message he claimed had been sent to his mobile phone by Superintendent of Police Mohamed Riyaz. The text read: “Alhan, will make sure you are fully famed (sic) for blackmailing Justice Ali Hameed. You don’t know who we are.’’

Following a number of prosecutions of MPs during the repeatedly delayed president election late last year, the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) requested an urgent visit to the Maldives.

Secretary General of the IPU, Anders B. Johnsson wrote to Speaker of the Majlis Abdulla Shahid, requesting that a delegation was sent to discuss steps to ensure MPs “can do their work unhindered, without fear of intimidation and harassment or attack on their physical integrity,” added the Secretary General.

Alhan’s name appeared on an IPU list of 21 Maldivian MPs being monitored by the group. The list included Progressive Party of Maldives MP Dr Afrasheem Ali who was murdered in October 2012.


Off-duty soldier stabbed in Male’

A 22-year old solider stabbed in Male’ on Saturday night (March 30) is said to be in a good condition after receiving injuries to his head, back and arm.

A Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) official told local media that the injured soldier, identified as Private Ibrahim Areef, was a bodyguard assigned to protect MP Hamdhoon Hameed.

Areef is currently being treated at Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH) in Male’, who have confirmed that the soldier is “doing alright”, according to local media.

An official from the MNDF claimed that Areef had been attacked while he was off duty in Lonuziyaari Magu.


Comment: Blame game hardly solves problems

Lance Corporal Adam Halym of Maldives Police Service was on his way to start a new shift, leaving his baby daughter and loving wife at home, when he was mercilessly knifed and murdered in a dark alley leading to Kaashidhoo Police Station. He never returned home.

I strongly condemn the heinous crime of killing an officer of the law and as well the eight innocent people, whose blood was spilled before him. Thoughts, prayers and well wishes are with all those victims family at time of this great tragedy.

While the families and public is grappling with the aftermath of this ongoing carnage, much more appalling than the gruesome murder of the police officer is the notorious blame game started by the politicians. It took one or two hours tops before prominent political figures, most of them holding key portfolios in current government, to sinisterly twist the tragedy and manipulate in ways that it advantageous to their own political stand or disadvantageous to their political opponents. The former president Mohamed Nasheed and his party MDP  was on the receiving end of much of the accusations.

On twitter Ahmed Mahloof, MP for Galolhu Dhekunu Constituency, was amongst the first to break the news by posting a tweet saying “Innaalillahi vainna ilaihi raajioon” (a Quranic verse Muslims recite upon hearing the news of someone’s death) and ” mikamuge zinmaa seedha MDP nagan jeheyne”(MDP should directly take the responsibility of this)” along with a hyperlink to the news story on the Haveeru website.

Among many other tweets that followed, government-aligned Progressive Party of the Maldives (PPM) MP Mahloof emphatically blamed Nasheed and the MDP. One tweet when translated reads, “What we are seeing is the democracy Nasheedh and MDP wanted to bring to this country” while the another tweet reads: “We are seeing the result of Nasheed and MDP calling to attack police and military officers non stop.”

One hour into Mahloof’s tweets President Waheed himself posted a tweet saying “Strongly condemn the killing of a policeman while on duty. Enough of hate mongering against officers of the Law.”

In a subsequent tweet  an hour later the president emoted: “No excuses to kill anyone let alone policemen on duty. Shame on cowards hiding behind anonymity and inciting violence.” While he does not elobarate on who the “anonymous” is,  his counterparts have clarified it well with their own facts: Nasheed and MDP killed LCPL Adam Halym.

Here is what the Minister of Home Affairs said:

Not just that, while the President, his ministers, and other key government officials were all commotional on twitter, Dr Ibrahim Didi, Qasim Ibrahim and Abdullah Jabir – belonging to Jumhoree Party of Dr Waheed’s unity government – were doing their fair share of the blame game on VTV during late hours of last night.  They reiterated the crux of the above mentioned tweets, blaming Nasheed and his party.

I am taken aback by the heedless audacity of especially government officials to create a diversion from the real issue, by using the oldest tactic in the book: the blame game. Every second spent accusing Nasheed and the MDP is a second wasted by the current government to address the cause of the  issue. At a time when the government is expected to take proactive and immediate measure to ensure the safety and security of the people of Maldives they are engrossed in politically assassinating their opposition party and its presidential candidate for the murder of LCP Adam Halym.

In the very press statement from police about the brutal murder of Adam Halym it was clearly stated that a suspect was brought under custody. The police already had a lead. Local media concurrently identified the killer as Mohamed Samah from the same island.

Only hours later more details were reported on local media shedding light on the attack and the killer: Samah has a criminal record for aggravated assault among other crimes and was also released  from police detention to house confinement the previous day.

The police have not revealed that Nasheed, the MDP or for that matter any political party had a role in the murder of Adam Halym: but from the few reports surfacing in the media, we can draw a conclusion that it was indeed a a preventable crime carried out by a dangerous criminal who found his murderous opportunity through a loophole in the very system that is intended to keep his like at bay.

But these facts did not get in the way of the vociferous accusations echoed by the self declared political pundits, nor did it stop MDP from making counterblasts over social networks, spreading picture of the suspected killer alleging that he was in fact from the government-aligned PPM’s members.

One of the most noticeable remarks was made on Facebook by former Foreign Minister Dr Ahmed Shaheed:

While Dr Shaheed has rightly indicated to what really lead to the murder of LCPL Adam Halym, it would be unfair not to say he has again shot the blame at Home Minister. Doesn’t only a judge have the jurisdiction to release a criminal from police custody to house arrest? So why blame the Home Minister who has no direct authority under the current legal framework to release a criminal from police custody to house arrest?

Why are not we questioning which court or judge released Samah, only to kill a police officer in less than 24 hours?  Has the judiciary failed us again and this time we had  to pay with the life of an officer of the law? If it wasn’t a judge, who gave the authority to police to move the criminal?

These are fundamental questions that lurks around the murder of Adam Halym that neeed to be answered by the police, before we engross ourselves in this “you killed him” game, helping no one except fuelling the opportunistic politicians ready to feed on humanity when it suits them.

At difficult times like this, we humans might blindly seek solace in band aid solutions like the death penalty. Implementing dealth penalty right now in Maldives would only be a coping mechanism that would would provide a temporary relief to the community but leave the root cause of the problem untouched.

It was just few days ago that the whole nation came to a standstill over the murder of lawyer Najeeb. Najeeb’s murderer has said in court that he was inebriated at the time of killing.

Afterwards when his faculties were back to normal and realised what he had done, he cried  in regret.  Moving onto LCPL Adam Halym’s murder, what are the chances Samah too was intoxicated during the murder? More importantly would implementing death penalty prevent an angry, intoxicated person from murdering someone? Since drugs have become the root cause of all mischief in Maldives, and since the punishment under Islam for spreading mischief on Earth is capital punishment, isn’t it more just and appropriate to sentence drug lords to death?

Half of the youth population are enslaved to these substances marketed by these “untouchable” drug lords. They have destroyed lives of thousands of youth and their families. More will follow if we do not stop the menace and provide better opportunities for the younger generation.

Samah found his chance to kill LCPL Adam Halym through a loophole in the judiciary. Therefore when God has specifically prescribed in Quran “ Take not life, which God has made sacred, except by way of justice and law” how can we entrust the current judiciary, with its major loopholes, to rule “by way of justice and law”? For God’s sake, prerequisites laws to implement the death penalty do not even exist in Maldives as of yet and who knows when they will be passed. Let’s be realistic.

We know that Islam stipulates strict conditions that prevent arbitrary administration of any penalty, no matter how mild it is. The Prophet Mohamed has instructed us to“Avert punishments if suspicions arise”. According to Dr Hamdy Murad, an Islamic thinker and Professor of Sharia at Al-Balqa Applied University, “Suspicion means that for any offence that cannot proved 100 percent, so to speak, punishments should be averted.”

In the case of Murrath and Hana, the couple who murdered lawyer Najeeb who were sentenced to death with a fortnight, isn’t there room for suspicion? Did no one hear the girl say she did not kill him and was sleeping while her boyfriend did it?

Besides, should we not question why a convicted criminal like Murrath – who was suppose to be in jail – and Samaah, a criminal with a record of multiple assaults – was out of the streets instead of confinement?

In the wake of such tragic events, it is tempting to blame someone for the pain simply because it absolves the person from shouldering any responsibility. But, one must not forget the most effective tool we can utilise for hate mongering is these slanderous accusations. It never yields solution or heals the scars, but fuels more hatred and divisions in the community.

More than ever, we as a nation need to skip this blame game and find solutions to address the real issues that have jeopardised the very fundamental human right our people have: the right to life.

All comment pieces are the sole view of the author and do not reflect the editorial policy of Minivan News. If you would like to write an opinion piece, please send proposals to [email protected]


Businessman robbed of Rf435,000 in gang attack

A businessman has been attacked and robbed of Rf435,000 (US$33850) and US$7100 in the latest of a series of gang attacks in Male’.

Police Sub-Inspector Ahmed Shiyam said the incident occurred last night around 12:00am on Janavary Magu near Sonee Hardware.

Shiyam said the man was carrying money belonging to a company when the gang approached and stabbed him.

The man is currently being treated at Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH) “and his condition is not very serious,” according to Shiyam.

An eye witness told Minivan News that the 41 year old victim was stabbed in the back and robbed of Rf435,000 and US$7100 during the incident. He said the man was taken to ADK Hospital around 12:30am.

Police did not know whether this case was related to other recent similar cases, Shiyam said, in which business owners carrying large amounts of money after closing their stores are attacked by gangs.

Last year on 28 December prominent businessman Ahmed Ibrahim Didi, known as ‘Campus’ Didi, was stabbed and robbed of almost US$300,000 in cash by unknown assailants. He was badly injured during the incident and was flown to India for emergency treatment.

Two days later, the manager of the Sunfront store, Mohamed Rashaad Adam, and an employee of the shop were attacked by a gang when they were on their way back to home with the day’s takings in cash with them in a small bag. The employee was badly injured but no money was stolen during the attack.

Vice President of the Maldives National Chamber of Commerce Institution (MNCCI) Ismail Asif said the organisation had held a meeting with police to make businessmen aware about these sort of incidents.

”We are trying to make Male’ a peaceful place for the businessman,” Asif said.

He said it was bad for businesses to face these kind of challenges “especially during a time of economic crisis like this.”

He such crimes could be prevented if people became more aware of the dangers of carrying large amounts of money.