Reference No: 92/08/2012
Police’s request to question President Nasheed is political – MDP
On Sunday, 29 July, President Nasheed received a letter from the MPS stating their interest to question him in relation to an ongoing investigation where they suspected him of ‘inciting violence against law enforcement officials since 29 May 2012.’ The Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP)’s legal team noted that the letter sent by the MPS was not an official summons, and was not in accordance with Police regulations, which outlines in Articles 104 and 105 the procedure and template for summoning individuals for investigative purposes.
Instead of an official summons, the letter sent by MPS accused President Nasheed of inciting violence against law enforcement officials where they claimed that attacks on Police officers, vehicles, infrastructure and public disorder incidents since 29 May was the outcome of President Nasheed’s call for such attacks.
In response, President Nasheed voluntarily attended MPS HQ today, where the Police stated that they suspected him of violating Article 12 and 13 of the Maldives’ Penal Code, the aiding and abetment of an offence. However, although President Nasheed repeatedly requested the Police to clarify which offences he was being accused of aiding and abetting, they were unable to state the specific offences.
As the Police were unable to specify the offence – let alone provide solid evidence – they suspect President Nasheed of aiding and abetting, the MDP believes that the Police’s request to question President Nasheed was merely a cheap political tactic orchestrated to obstruct ongoing peaceful protests against Dr. Waheed’s regime. The Maldives Police Service has been steeped in questions over its legitimacy since February 7. It has repeatedly allowed several of its officers to violate the Police Act and their Code of Conduct through the use of excessive force, and has taken no disciplinary measures to resolve issues of police brutality.
President Nasheed was accompanied by his lawyers, who were pepper sprayed by riot Police on their way to MPS HQ. President Nasheed was also assaulted, when a Police officer kicked him.
Hamid Abdul Ghafoor
Spokesperson, International Affairs