Police yesterday publicized an alleged audio recording of a telephone conversation of former President Mohamed Nasheed who is heard expressing his desire to deploy people to fight the police.
Superintendent of Police Mohamed Riyaz said during a press conference yesterday that the phone call had been between Nasheed and Machchangoalhi-north MP Mariya Ahmed Didi on May 29, at the time when Police were searching Usfasgandu area being used by Nasheed’s Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) to hold its political activities.
During the three minute conversation, Mariya is heard informing Nasheed that Police were using pepper spray to disperse protesters and that a letter had been delivered asking to vacate the Usfasgandu area by 10.00 that night (May 29). She added that the scheduled MDP National Congress adjacent to the site could not be held due to a lack of quorum. Mariya also detailed that the area can only be vacated when given access by the Police and the refusal to do so was quite amusing. Then Mariya is heard asking Nasheed his opinion on the next course of action.
“What more can be done? I honestly don’t know what option remains in the matter?” Nasheed is heard saying.
Next Nasheed says “I think if we can find the people, to bring them out to fight.” In response Mariya questions “between both parties?”
“If we can find such people I feel we should deploy people to fight. To find a group from Male who are willing to fight and bring them out to fight the police” the former President says.
Mariya is heard laughing in response to Nasheed’s opinion.
“That is what I think. I don’t know if we can find people to fight. I want to fight them tonight.”
The phone is ended after Nasheed requests Mariya to keep him in the loop.
Police Superintendent stressed that Nasheed will be questioned during the course of next week for calling to attack the Police. Mariya had been summoned to the Police over the case earlier. However, Police had not disclosed the content of the conversation between Mariya and Nasheed at the time.
Riyaz alleged that the MDP protesters gathered at the Usfasgandu area on that day had become violent and attacked Police personnel shortly after Nasheed and Mariya’s phone call. The subsequent protest later that night had also resulted in attacks on Police officers and vehicles, Riyaz added. In addition he further alleged that since that day, there has been an upsurge in violence and attacks on Police officers, where 22 incidents of physical injuries sustained by Police have been recorded so far.
Riyaz added that the Police had been compelled to publicize Nasheed’s phone conversation, after baseless allegation are being made against the Police that political figures are summoned to Police as harassment.
He said the calls to attack police officers were intended to weaken the resolve of the police and achieve political motives. However, Riyaz pledged that the Police would handle every situation with professionalism and “not one drop of blood shed by a Police officer would be allowed to go to waste.” He stressed that such calls and incitements to attack the Police would be seriously investigated.
Riyaz revealed that the phone conversation between Mariya and Nasheed had been recorded under a Court order, which had been necessitated by intelligence information. However, he added that no court orders had been sought to record phone conversation of any individual in advance.
Superintendent expressed belief that Nasheed can be charged under Article 12 and 13 of the Penal Code and his calls to attack police personnel can be constituted as a criminal offence.
In response to a question on the status of the investigation into the allegations of Police brutality on February 8, Riyaz said that the incidents are being probed by the relevant institutions. He added that Police do not adopt a policy of brutality and torture, but urged to act through the institutions that have been set up to probe any offences by the Police.