23 March 2012
The Maldivian Democratic Party condemns all acts of violence, and notes with special reference recent attacks against Police Officers. The MDP recognizes that there is a high level of public animosity towards police officers with regards to their involvement in the 7th February coup, overthrowing the first democratically elected Government in the Maldives, and their subsequent brutal crackdown on unarmed civilians. However, MDP strongly urges all members of the public to express themselves through peaceful protest.
MDP is increasingly concerned over the high level of reports of sexual harassment experienced by a number of women detained by the Police in recent days. This includes demanding some women detained on Monday, 19 March, to strip and squat a number of times while under Police custody, and the use of inappropriate language. The MDP would like to remind the Police of their responsibility in upholding the law, and respecting the fundamental rights of all those detained.
MDP notes the increase in the use of Stop and Search powers by the Police, and condemns the use of it as a form of intimidation against MDP activists. The Party also expresses concern over the Police’s continued attempts to frame the MDP in relation to attacks against the Police. The Police are urged to complete investigations and follow outlined criminal and judicial procedures. The Police are also requested to follow appropriate behaviour as outlined in their own Police Powers Act.
Hamid Abdul Ghafoor
Spokesperson, International Affairs