Joint Statement:  Opposition Parties Condemn Unlawful Arrest of MP Faris Maumoon

18 July 2017, Male: The joint opposition parties condemn in the strongest possible terms the illegal arrest of lawmaker Faris Maumoon this afternoon, less than a week before the impeachment vote of the Speaker of Parliament, due to take place on July 24. 

Police officers arrested MP Faris at around 1pm today from his apartment in Male’. The police officers arrived at MP Faris’ apartment at 9:00am and searched the premises all morning. Police officers had a court warrant, signed by the Criminal Court last night, accusin MP Faris of involvement in bribing MPs ahead of the parliamentary no-confidence vote, an allegation MP Faris strongly denies. 

The Criminal Court judgement was based on a secret “police intelligence” report. So-called “intelligence” reports have been used as cover for a number of politically-motivated, illegal and unconstitutional actions in recent years.

Chief Superintendent of Police Ahmed Abdul Rahman, the operational head of the intelligence department, is the brother-in-law of Abdulla Khaleel MP, a Yameen loyalist who serves as the Secretary-General of the ruling PPM-Y faction. 

The joint opposition parties remind individual police officers that the Constitution forbids them from following unlawful orders. Individual police officers who willingly carry out unlawful orders may be held accountable by future administrations. 

In March, the leaders of four political parties, President of Progressive Party of the Maldives H.E. Uz. Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, President of the Maldivian Democratic Party H.E. Mohamed Nasheed, Leader of Jumhooree Party Hon. Qasim Ibrahim and President of Adhaalath Party Sheikh Imran Abdulla signed a coalition agreement committing their parties to work towards democratic reforms in the Maldives.