Arrest of MP Hon. Ibrahim Rasheed

MALDIVES, Male’, 3 Aug 2012, 1.00am ; Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) MP Hon. Ibrahim Rasheed was arrested around half past midnight while at a popular cafe’ in the Island Capital City of Male’. A group of some 20 Militarized Police walked into the Monsoon Cafe’, produced an arrest warrant and took the MP away to the shock of everyone at the cafe’.

Hon. Ibrahim Rasheed was arrested under a warrant obtained by the Police relating to an incident two days back on 30 July when it was reported that the MP was “bitten” on his back by a policeman in the process of being arrested while participating in a protest rally. The MP was released within a few hours on that day with two other MPs who were also “picked up” with Hon Rasheed. It appears Hon. Ibrahim Rasheed was so abruptly taken away, two days after the incident, by a group of 20 Militarized Police for hitting a policeman while being arrested on 30 July. The MP have now been transferred to the Dhoonidhoo Island Prison.

It must be noted that this particular MP was the subject of severe beatings on a pavement in the City Center on 8 Feb 2012, the day after the Coup D’etat that deposed the elected government of President Mohamed Nasheed. Hon Rasheed is among 10 MPs who have been the subject of Police Brutality that have gone un-addressed for the last 6 months in-spite of repeated appeals by the Inter Parliamentary Union to investigate the matter.

The MDP have since called on the Police to release MP Ibrahim Rasheed on the grounds of continued illegal and arbitrary arrest of pro-democracy politicians including the arrest of Members of Parliament with utter impunity. The Coup Installed Commissioner of Police Abdulla Riyaz have publicly repeated his distaste for the intricacies of the laws relating to the arrest of elected representatives of the people.

Earlier yesterday, at 2.00pm President Nasheed was “summoned” to the Police for questioning on trump up charges of inciting violence quoting a leaked telephone call made to Male’ while the President was abroad in New Zealand in May this year. The City Center was in a state of public disorder relating to repeated attempts by Mutinying Police to arrest deposed President Nasheed on trumped up charges.

The Island Capital City of Male’ remains tense while three countries, Canada, Australia and New Zealand are reported to have stepped up their Travel Advisories to the Maldives.

Hamid Abdul Ghafoor @haaghee
MDP Spokesperson, International Affairs.