Skip to main content

#Maldives in Constitutional Crisis: Military obstruct accountability and justice by wearing identity concealing face masks

Male', Maldives.

Maldives Military wore black face masks to conceal their identity as they stormed the site of another civic protest against the military's forced disappearance of Judge Abdulla Mohamed. In doing so, the military obstructs justice and accountability by preventing the persons harmed and others from enforcing their constitutional right to hold military officers accountable for their actions.

In the international scene, it is common to see Israeli security forces don face masks and this too, only when attacking innocent Palestinians. Hence, it is rather disturbing to see the Maldivian military dodging accountability and justice by wearing identity concealing masks when confronting civilians.

The disturbing incident adds to the growing lengthy list of violations of fundamental constitutional rights by President Nasheed's military, police, administration and party.

The wearing of face masks by protestors is banned in several countries. The issue is related to the question of allowing the concealing of identity of persons who may be in contravention of the law.

In last night's events, masked individuals wearing Maldives military riot gear entered the scene after the Police Commander of riot police at the scene reportedly refused an order to arrest individuals at the protest. These masked individuals arrested several civilians and transported them away from the scene.

As in the traditional situation, the first presumption is that the individual behind the mask is engaged in an illegal activity. This presumption is lent credence by the fact that the current protests were prompted the military's contravention of the constitution of the country. Further, the Maldives courts have ruled that the police arrest of civic protestors on previous nights was unconstitutional.

The wearing of face masks by the military raise questions of legality in the act. It raises the question of whether such practices are allowed under the constitution and law. If legal, then is it standard practice for Maldives military to wear face masks in facing civic protests. If it is not standard practice, under what circumstances would military be given orders to wear face masks? And what level of officer in the military hierarchy would be authorized to issue such orders?

These are questions that the Parliamentary Committee of National Defense must ask the military, if it is to defend the fundamental rights of Maldivian citizens. However, past weeks have shown that the said Parliamentary Committee has been hijacked by President Nasheed's MDP Mps, and it is futile to even hope that the Committee can discharge its constitutional responsibility for hodling the military accountable for any of its acts.

The resolution of this lies not in the parliament now, nor in the judiciary. Nor does it lie in the hands of independent institutions such as the Prosecutor General or the Humand Rights Commission, since none of these institutions have condemned last night's act by the military. The onus of holding President Nasheed and the military accountable now rest with the people, through legal means and within the bounds of the constitution. It is for experienced minds and national interest to lead the people down this path and away from the conflictual and self serving path shown by political parties.

Popular posts from this blog

The Quality of Political Appointees in the Nasheed Administration

As almost seven months pass since President Mohamed Nasheed took power in the Maldives, Maldivian citizens despair of ever seeing the much promised improvements in their livelihoods. The state treasury has been exhausted within this brief period, and the economy has declined to an extent worse than the aftermath of the 2004 Asian Tsunami. Escalating price of consumer goods, collapse of social services, increasing food insecurity and declining real income have thrown more people below the poverty line. While President Nasheed is engrossed in his hate and persecution campaign against political opponents, his government has ground to a halt.

The Nasheed administration came into power promising reduced expenditures, increased government revenue and a clamp down on corruption in top government circles. President Nasheed’s first budget (2009) has a 7 billion deficit (nearly 5 billion more than the previous administration’s last budget, and government revenue has fallen by more than 28% since…

#Maldives: 24 years after Nov 3 massacre: Are the terrorists back masquerading as a political party? Part 1

#Maldives: November 3rd, 2012 marks the 24th anniversary of the bloody massacre that left the blackest of stains on Maldivian hearts and history. Nineteen innocent Maldivians were slaughtered and several injured. Hundreds were held at gunpoint for hours, many later taken away as hostages. Immense damage was given to public and private property. Maldives was rescued by troops sent by Indian Premier Rajiv Gandhi. The leader of the failed coup was a man called Sikka Ahmed Ismail Maniku, a man who had previous convictions for coup attempts against previous governments. The coup leader's nephew, Mohamed Nasheed, was installed as President in 2008, at the head of a political party whose top leadership comprised of family members and others involved in the 1988 November 3 massacre.

Nasheed's cabinet, senior political advisors and state ministers included terrorists convicted for their involvement in the November 3 massacre. As Nasheed denounces the current government of Dr. Mohamed W…

Nepotism rampant in Maldives President Nasheed’s Government

The 6 month old government of Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed is at present struggling with economic, social and political woes mainly of its own making. Insiders blame President Nasheed’s heavy handed control of his top heavy political administration for the mismanagement of the budget, impractical whole sale changes to the administrative structure, collapse of social and welfare services and the failing economy.

The high profile faces of Nasheed’s top political appointees show a dominance of close relatives, interspersed with failed politicians and front line radicals from his party Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP). MDP sources report that this dominance of close relatives of President Nasheed, Vice President Dr Waheed and party Chairman Mariya Didi is at the root of emerging deep cracks in the MDP’s general membership. In addition to its inexperience, another factor contributing to Nasheed’s government’s continual mistakes and failures is apparently the lack of cohesion and coope…