Special Operations (SO) police arrested a retired police sergeant in Addu City last night and released him upon learning that he was a former officer.
Jihad Abdulla told newspaper Haveeru today that he was seated on a motorbike having a cigarette in front of his house when a police officer approached and attempted to search him.
“I said why do you want to search me, I have not committed a crime,” he said, adding that he asked the officer to explain a reasonable cause for the frisking.
Jihad was then taken to the Hithadhoo police station in a police jeep. He noted that the officer-in-charge was inside the vehicle but did not inform him of the reason for his arrest.
“So I believe that SO officers do not know how to act during operations. They have to act in accordance with rules and regulations. But that is not how they behave,” he was quoted as saying.
Police officers used foul language after he was taken to the station, Jihad noted. The SO officers told him that they could search or arrest anyone.
Jihad was released after being searched. Some officers at the station knew that Jihad was a former sergeant.
He was honourably discharged from the force in October 2012.
Jihad said he was “saddened and ashamed” of the SO officers as a person who had served as a police officer for 21 years.
Addu City Mayor Abdulla Sodig said in a Facebook post today he had shared with the SO commander “the numerous cases of public complaints about the amateurish and outright rude behavior of the police towards the general public, and in many cases law-abiding citizens.”
“My appeals were dismissed as political statements, when in fact, it had adversely affected and shocked many citizens of Addu, including the honorably retired Sergeant Jihad Abdulla, who was known through out the police service during his 21 years of valuable service. Sgt Jihad Abdulla, like many before him were not intervened within a suspected environment of crime,” he continued.
“When veterans of the Maldives Police Service hang their head in shame having witnessed an open license to exhibit depravity and disregard for liberties and basic human rights guaranteed in our constitution by their fellow officers, it is a wake-up for everyone and especially the Commissioner of Police, CP Abdulla Riyaz, to acknowledge that there are serious problems that need to be addressed within its institution before it can functionally enforce law.”