Order for Police to leave Artificial Beach on Feb 6 unconstitutional: HRCM

Ahmed Rishan, Haveeru Online
Aug 22, 2012 - 03:38
  • Members of the HRCM at the press conference yesterday. HRCM yesterday revealed four reports to the media. PHOTO/ NASRULLA SOLIH

A report publicized by the Human Rights Commission of the Maldives (HRCM) states that former President Mohamed Nasheed had told the former Commissioner of Police Ahmed Faseeh to order the Police to withdraw from the Artificial Beach area while a potential conflict had been brewing between the gathered December 23 coalition and supporters of the Maldives Democratic Party (MDP) on the night of February 6.

HRCM stated that Nasheed had ordered the commanders of security forces to withdraw from the Artificial Beach while the security forces were continuously asserting a potential violent conflict could arise.

According to the information provided by the Police to the HRCM investigation it is stated that on the night of February 6 the Police were ordered to leave the Artificial Beach and go to the Republic Square at around 9.00 that night, but that reflecting on the escalating tension in the area the Police had requested more personnel be sent to the beach to control the situation.

At around 9.30 former Home Minister Hassan Afeef had called the then Commissioner of Police Ahmed Faseeh and had asked him to order the Police at the Artificial Beach to leave the area, the information provided by the Police to HRCM stated, and that later President Nasheed himself had called Faseeh and is reported to have said that demonstrations are prolonged every night because of the way the Police deals with the gathered demonstrators.

“…the Home Minister was informed that that both sides (MDP and the coalition) were in possession of weapons thus if the Police left the area violence could erupt, and that President Mohamed Nasheed had called the Commissioner of Police and said that protests take so long every night because of the way the Police deal with the demonstrators, and ordered the Police to withdraw from the area,” a Police statement read.

HRCM’s report states that Nasheed had asked the Police to disperse the gathered crowd or to hand over the area to the Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) and Police had revealed that their operation head had ordered them to cut the cable that had been extended out from the Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) Office but that the gathered personnel had refused to forcibly enter the building unless a criminal offence had taken place there, but that they had seen the cable had been severed later.

Police left the Artificial Beach on the night of February 6 when MNDF officers arrived at the area, but had returned without command to subdue the violence as per their responsibility after the MNDF left the beach and unrest had ensued as senior police officers had also tried to stop the Police from going to the beach again near the Police headquarters.

HRCM’s report noted that Police had left the Artificial Beach on the orders of the former President and as a result the demonstrators had to be dispersed with much difficulty later on. It was also noted that despite having prior knowledge that potential weapons were at the beach during the demonstration the Police had done nothing to seize these weapons.

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