The Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) expresses grave concern over the overtly political actions taken by Abdulla Riyaz, appointed Commissioner of Police by Dr. Mohamed Waheed following the overthrow of the Maldives’ first democratically elected government in February 2012.
Mr. Riyaz, using his twitter account, where he describes himself as ‘Commissioner of Police, Maldives Police Service’ and is photographed in uniform, chose to tweet an image of a letter he had allegedly received from a citizen who had urged Mr. Riyaz and others of the Maldives Police Service not to vote for the Maldivian Democratic Party’s, Presidential candidate, Mohamed Nasheed.
> The MDP firmly believe that Mr. Riyaz, by choosing to tweet the image of this particular letter against a candidate running in the Presidential Elections has contravened the codes of conducts enshrined in the Police Act and the Presidential Elections Act. As such, the MDP have filed an official complaint at the Maldives Elections Commission and are encouraged that the matter has been taken seriously enough to be forwarded to the Police Integrity Commission for further investigation.These incidents do not ease fears of Police intervention, by overstepping their mandate in the election process.
The MDP notes that this is unfortunately not the first instance where Mr. Riyaz, appointed in dubious circumstances, has used his position in a blatantly politically manner. The MDP would like to draw attention to Mr. Riyaz’s role in the February 7 2012 forceful overthrow of government, subsequent police brutality, impunity and lack of accountability, politically motivated detentions, unconstitutional barring of Raajje TV from Police Service events, the refusals to accept summons by Parliamentary select committees and the extensive interview he recently gave on a policy which was alleged to be the MDP’s.
The MDP calls upon all domestic and international institutions to hold officials such as Mr. Riyaz accountable and to ensure an environment for free and fair elections