- Posted January 16, 2012 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Democracy Hijacked: Real Face of President Nasheed
As I write this article former amnesty prisoner of conscience and journalist Sandhaanu Ahmed Didi is lying on a hospital bed recovering from injuries inflicted by thugs from Maldives Democratic Party (MDP), President Nasheed's political party. MDP thugs including MDP Male' city councillor Afrah assaulted the frail Ahmed Didi severely beating him on the face and burning his neck with cigarettes.
The night started with the illegal detention of deputy leader of Dhivehi Qaumee party and former Communications minister in President Nasheed's government Dr. Jameel. Dr. Jameel had also been arrested last night without any clear charges and the criminal court had ruled that such arrests violated the Constitution of the Maldives.
Dr. Jameel's arrest sparked protests from the opposition which was brutally attacked by knife wielding thugs from the ruling MDP. The attack was facilitated by the Maldives Police Services which had failed to take any concrete actions to stop the assault. Maldives news media had reported that the thugs entered the headquarters of Maldives Police Services before attacking the peaceful opposition protestors.
This was soon followed by threats to Criminal Court Justice Abdulla by the vice president of MDP, Alhan Fahmy. Mr. Fahmy, a former opposition parliament member has been accused of taking bribes to join the ruling party. Less than an hour after the threat by Mr. Fahmy the Maldives National Defense Force (MNDF), the military, knocked down the door of Justice Abdulla's house and dragged him while he was in the presence of many other Criminal Court Justices. MNDF has refused to comment on the state or whereabouts of Justice Abdulla and there have been reports that he is being detained in an MNDF training facility in the remote island of Girifushi.
According to Maldivian law, the military is not allowed to intervene in civil matters and the arrest of any judges is subject to the approval of the Prosecutor General and the issuing of a warrant for the arrest by a court superior to the court the judge serves in. The Prosecutor General has ordered the Defense Minister, Chief of MNDF, and the Police Commissioner to release Justice Abdulla. However, there has been no indication that President Nasheed's authoritarian government will follow the Prosecutor General's order. The Chief Supreme Court Justice Ahmed Faiz Hussain has also voiced deep concern over the actions of the military and has requested the government to release Justice Abdulla immediately. The High Court has also ordered President Nasheed's despotic government to release Justice Abdulla immediately. However, as of writing this article there is no indication that Justice Abdulla will be released any time soon.
It is heartbreaking to see that the democracy we worked so hard to attain in 2008 has now fallen in disarray and turned literally into a military dictatorship. President Nasheed is no champion of democracy and has turned out to be much much worse than his predecessor. President Nasheed had previously locked the Supreme Court and illegally detained two opposition leaders (and members of parliament) indefinitely.