Riot Police used pepper spray on over 500 demonstrators, protesting against the appointment of convicted terrorist Abdullah Shahid as state minister of defense and national security. According to witnesses police used electric shock batons and pepper spray on the peaceful protesters. However Mohamed Fayaz, assistant commissioner of police denies this by saying only pepper spray was used. Only pepper spray? Under which clause of the law did the police have the right to use “only pepper spray” on peaceful protesters? Assistant commissioner of police said the spray was a necessary deterrent as the “area was connected to the security and harmony of the nation”. They talk about security and harmony of the nation and meanwhile appoint convicted terrorists for government senior officials. About two weeks back, in an interview, assistant commissioner of police said “Gang Violence is not a police problem”. So beating with electric shock batons and spraying pepper spray on peaceful protesters is a police matter? …so called democracy.
Police were criticized after they used full riot gear, pepper spray and electric shock batons in the One and Only Reethi Rah resort incident.
Angry protesters carried pictures of National Security officers and fellow civilians who were killed on 3 November 1988 in the attempted coup. The protesters condemned Shahid’s appointment by the president, calling on the government to abstain from giving key posts to those involved in the attack.
Now why would President Nasheed (Anni) appoint a man convicted of a crime against the state to a senior post such as State Minister for Defense and National Security? Is Mr. Nasheed a victim of blackmail? Last week, President Mohamed Nasheed publicly defended his appointment of Shahid, saying he was the most qualified individual for the position.
State Minister Abdulla Shahid, who had been given the death penalty for participating in the coup attempt of November 1988, was appointed as the State Minister for Defense and National Security by President Mohamed Nasheed.
According to the constitution, every Maldivian has the freedom of assembly.