The Maldives Democratic Party (MDP) today expressed its continued concern at the lack of clarity, on the part of the newly-established Commission of National Inquiry (CNI) and the Dr. Waheed regime, as to how international experts will support the independent and impartial investigation into the events of February 7th and 8th. The MDP also expressed concern at reports of intimidation within the police directed at those officers who had indicated that they wished to give evidence in support of the contention that President Nasheed was forced to resign. It has been made clear to these officers that there will be retribution should they give evidence that conflicts with the official version of events peddled by President Waheed and his new chief of police and Minister of Defence (both key participants in the coup).
The MDP has consistently said that, in order to be impartial and independent, any investigation would need to have a strong international element. This should include legal experts, constitutional experts, doctors, forensic experts, investigators and human rights experts. Reports from inside the police and army show that it should also include experts in witness protection.
However, despite indications by the regime and the CNI that requests for such experts would be forward to the international community via the UN, no further news has been forthcoming. There is also no suggestion from the CNI that their methods of work will include offering the possibility of witness protection.
Speaking on the issue, the MDP’s spokesperson for international affairs, Hamid Abdul Ghafoor, said: “the regime is clearly dragging its feet on the issue of international involvement – in direct violation of the clear calls from the EU, the Commonwealth and others. Now we are seeing why: those individuals who led the coup, including the new heads of the police and army, are using threats and intimidation to silence those members of the security services who might dare give evidence in support of the view that President Nasheed was forced to resign”.
“The MDP hopes that the international community will immediately call on the Dr. Waheed regime and the CNI to commit to significant international involvement in the investigation, and for the CNI to include witness protection within its methods of work. This must happen now, as we are already receiving reports that some members of the police are being silenced and that some may have disappeared”.
Hamid Abdul Ghafoor
Spokesperson, International Affairs