The Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) condemns violence against civilians by the Maldives Police Service, in the early hours of Wednesday morning. The MDP also calls for an immediate investigation into the isolated incidents of vandalism against Police stations.
In the early hours of Wednesday morning, nearly 100 uniformed police officers arrived at Justice Square, at the South Eastern point of Male’ where the MDP has been holding a peaceful pro democracy rally since 17 February. Eyewitness accounts state that uniformed officers in about 8 police vehicles and others in motorbikes surrounded the square, and began chasing civilians in the area. In addition to beating unarmed civilians, Police officers, in uniform were seen attacking civilians in the area with batons and knives. One unarmed individual, a known MDP member, was pepper sprayed in the eyes, while handcuffed and beaten by about 20 police officers. Another individual was stabbed in the leg, and has suffered serious injuries.
About 8 people were immediately taken to hospital for their injuries at the main hospital, IGMH. The MDP understands that at least 13 individuals remain in Police custody.
The MDP strongly condemns all acts of violence, but highlights the danger of what appears to be politically motivated vigilante justice by the Maldives Police Service. The Party calls for the enforcement of justice through due process and not through Police impunity.
Hamid Abdul Ghafoor, MDP Spokesperson for International Affairs stated, “today marks one month since the first democratically elected Government of the Maldives was brought down in a military and police backed coup on 7 February 2012. MDP condemns the systematic acts of violence by Police against unarmed civilians within this last month.”
“These acts of violence further highlight the need for an impartial and independent investigation on all that has happened since February 6th” Hamid added.
Hamid Abdul Ghafoor
Spokesperson, International Affairs