Commissioner of Police Mohamed Hameed, on Saturday, revealed that multiple investigations into officers from the Drug Enforcement Department (DED) seen “manhandling” and torturing a suspect are underway, after a video of the incident went viral on social media.
I just met the group of officers who were involved in the operation last night. The PSC has initiated its internal investigation. The HRCM & NIC are doing their independent investigations to which myself and the whole Executive Team will fully support. Will not tolerate torture!
— Mohamed Hameed (@M_Hameedh) July 6, 2019
The Police Commissioner reveals ongoing investigations. PHOTO: TWITTER
According to the Commissioner, the officers are being internally investigated by the Police Professional Standards Committee. Moreover, he noted that independent investigations by the Human Rights Commission of Maldives (HRCM) and National Integrity Commission (NIC) are ongoing.
I have viewed a video footage where officers in plain clothes are seen manhandling a suspect, during a search at a house in Maafannu under a court warrant tonight. This is unacceptable. I will be suspending the involved officers immediately and have them investigated.
— Mohamed Hameed (@M_Hameedh) July 5, 2019
Commissioner of Police Mohamed Hameed tweets his decision to suspend the involved officers. PHOTO: TWITTER
The video depicts plain-clothed officers inflicting multiple blows on the suspect, including kicks and jabs after the individual was thrown down and pinned to the ground.
During the duration of the video, the person did not exhibit any sign of retaliation and was compliant to the officers’ bidding.
Moreover, an officer is seen smashing a concrete block on the man’s left wrist, presumably in an attempt to destroy his wristwatch.
Maldives Police Service
Drug Enforcement Department manhandling a suspect.
The officers involved need to be treated as accused.
Suspension is not sufficient.
Initiate a Criminal Investigation Immediately! ??
? @M_Hameedh @PoliceMv ? pic.twitter.com/P73HXmbFv2
— Kutyso™? (@kutyso21) July 5, 2019
One of the many copies of the video circulating on social media. Outraged citizens have publicly called for the suspension and investigation of these officers. PHOTO: TWITTER
Police declared that the house was searched under a court order, with DED officers entering the premise at approximately 1930 hours.
The incident occurred inside a house in front of ours. These “officers” came into our house, questioned us about this video, went on to the next floor and came back again, accused us of recording the video, tried to search the phone, warned us to delete any videos.. (1/2) https://t.co/UV6Bmfsm1e
— Anas Abdul Sattar (@anasabdulsattar) July 5, 2019
Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP)’s Secretary-General became a witness to the matter. PHOTO: TWITTER
Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP)’s Secretary General Anas Abdul Sattar stated that the officers had warned to delete footage of the operation.
Despite the Anti Torture Act, there is virtually zero prosecution of law enforcement and state officials who commit the inhuman crime of torture. Despite Maldives being party to CAT and OPCAT, there is zero political will to ensure preventive measures to end torture.
— Ahmed Tholal? (@Tholman_79) July 6, 2019
Former Vice President of the Human Rights Commission of Maldives (HRCM) Ahmed Tholal’s tweet. PHOTO: TWEET
The incident sparked major public outrage, demanding reform and highlighting the notorious history of misconduct within the police commission over the decades.
“This time, there is a video, proof of police brutality. But 99 percent of the time these crimes go unaddressed. They are silently and often hopelessly endured by survivors of torture who don’t get any justice from any state institution. This is the opportunity to say no to torture”, said Former Vice President of the Human Rights Commission of Maldives (HRCM) Ahmed Tholal.
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