Speaker Nasheed alleges police planning raids on parliamentarians’ properties

Parliament Speaker, former President Mohamed Nasheed gestures as he speaks during a press conference on June 15, 2020. (Sun Photo/Fayaz Moosa)

Parliament’s Speaker, former President Mohamed Nasheed, on Wednesday, said that the police had several parliamentarians under surveillance, and were planning to raid their properties.

Prior to calling a vote on Wednesday afternoon, Nasheed said that he needed to broach “a very difficult” subject.

“I have been informed that some police officers have targeted individual parliamentarians and are planning to conduct raids targeting them,” he said.

He suggested that it may have something to do with the Police Service Bill, which is currently under the review of a parliamentary committee.

Nasheed said that the legislature will affect major changes to the Maldives Police Service, but that it is in everyone’s interest to have a “proper” police force in the country.

“I strongly appeal that no police officer harbor plans to pay attention - whether its towards a residence or a motorcycle or any other property of a honorable member of this Parliament - to an extent that they do not reserve for [properties] of any other ordinary citizen, and to specifically check members of this Parliament or search their residence in violation of the legal procedures and standards of the police, or to do this or that to a member of this Parliament.

Following these serious allegations against the police, Nasheed said he is confident in the ability of the military to provide necessary safety and protection to parliamentarians.

“And as you are aware, the primary responsibility of maintain the safety and security of this Parliament falls on Maldives National Defense Force. I have no doubt the [military] force will defend the safety and security of our interests. Of that, I have no doubt in my heart,” he said.

Nasheed’s party, Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) has a long history of speaking out against police brutality. The party alleges the police played a key role in the fall of the first MDP administration in 2012, and has since then increased their calls for major reforms to the police and an end to acts of police brutality. Some, including those within MDP’s parliamentary group itself, allege the criticism has escalated into a personal vendetta against the police.