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Showing posts from January, 2012

Maldives in Constitutional Crisis: Umar Naseer emerging as the best option for PPM

Male', Maldives. President Nasheed’s continued interference with the Judiciary created a wealth of opportunities for the opposition. However, for many reasons, not least one of which is interparty rivalry, the opposition has not been able to capitalize on these until a few days ago, when popular activist Umar Naseer joined the protest. Umar Naseer entered the fray a few days ago, turning around flagging civic protests with drive, injection of new activists and proper organization. Umar Naseer is the country’s foremost activist against the Nasheed regime, leading street protests against President Nasheed even as Nasheed took oath of office. This was a long time before other political parties took opposing stands. Umar Naseer has rejuvenated the current seemingly aimless civic protests with concrete demands and brought a measure of organization to the protests. One of the most popular opposition politicians today, Umar Naseer has increased participation at the nightly protests w

#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 relate

Maldives in Constitutional Crisis: Freedom of speech and of media - killed and buried by President Nasheed

Male', Maldives. Freedom of speech and freedom of media, both guaranteed in the Constitution, are two of many constitutional casualties of President Nasheed's prolonged struggle to remain in power. Opposition politicians continue to be interrogated and arrested for making public statements negative to President Nasheed, while private media have been repeatedly threatened by Government Ministers and police and military. These arrests come in support of a campaign by President Nasheed's militant party Maldives Democratic Party (MDP) called, "Can't Say That", overtly to stop rising public outrage at President Nasheed's anti Islamic policies and action. However, the campaign has now explicitly shifted to attack all those who raise their voices against President Nasheed's unconstitutional arrest of Senior Judge of the Criminal Court, Judge Abdulla Mohamed. Nasheed's arrest of Judge Abdulla has sparked widespread civic protests against Nasheed and hi

#Maldives in constitutional crisis: President Nasheed and opposition politicians must step aside and let national interest and political experience rescue the country

Male', Maldives President Nasheed's is still unable to provide Maldivians with a legally valid defense of his unconstitutional arrest of Judge Abdulla Mohamed, nine days after the act. All Nasheed and his mlilitant party Maldives Democratic Party (MDP) are doing day and night, publicly, privately and on social networks, is to repeat their old accusations of ex-President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom being a dictator and calling for his arrest. At the same time, the civic coalition movement and opposition parties appear to be reveling in their media exposure, but show no sign of moving towards concrete steps to resolve the constitutional crisis. Nasheed's military arrest of Judge Abdulla, a senior judge of the Criminal Court, had been condemned as unconstitutional by the courts, the Chief Justice, Prosecutor General Ahmed Muizzu, Maldives Human Rights Commission, Maldives Lawyers Association and top legal experts in the country. Its unconstitutionality cannot be refuted. Yet, Nash

#Maldives in Constitutional Crisis: Is President Nasheed's real target Islamic Sharia and not the Judiciary?

Male', Maldives. Tension and alarm escalated amongst Maldivian citizenry yesterday with President Nasheed's re-introduction of the controversial UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navirathnam Pillai into the Maldivian internal matters. President Nasheed's grand design in the forced disappearance of Judge Abdulla appears to be to create an opportunity for international forces to enter Maldivian domestic politics and civic matters. If it were so, this would be a sad betrayal of centuries of struggle for political independence by Maldivians high and low. The end objective of this foreign influence is perhaps not reform of the Judiciary itself, but amendment of the constitution to remove its basis on Islamic Sharia. The fact that he chose to invite Ms. Pillai for legal assistance in the current constitutional crises shows that there is a link between the current military arrest and Ms. Pillai's agenda. Ms. Pillai sparked the largest civic protest in the country to

#Maldives in Constitutional Crisis: Discipline of Judges is not the mandate of police or military - Judicial Services Commission

Male', Maldives. The Judicial Services Commission today condemned the military arrest of Senior Judge of the Criminal Court Judge Abdulla Mohamed as unconstitutional. In a press release today, the JSC stated that Section 159 of the Constitution clearly gives the mandate to investigate complaints about the Judiciary, and to take disciplinary action against them, including recommendations for dismissal. The JSC made this statement as civilians protest against the unconstitutional arrest of Judge Abdulla for the 8th night in a row. Opposition leaders have stated that they will not stop the protests until Judge Abdulla is released and the Executive brought into the bounds of rule of law. The protests have led to a number of documented incidences of police and army brutality and excessive use of force against civilians, especially women. The JSC's statement repeats charges against the Executive made by Chief Justice Ahmed Faiz and by Prosecutor General Ahmed Muizzu, that the mi

#Maldives: Vice President Dr. Waheed proposes solution which obstructs justice

The strong arms of the West-US partnership reached out into the ongoing political drama in the Maldives by positioning their agent, Vice President Dr. Mohamed Waheed Hassan in the role of moderator in the ongoing constitutional deadlock between the Executive and the Judiciary in the Maldives. Dr. Waheed has remained a silent confederate of President Nasheed in the numerous instances of unconstitutional and immoral practices by the President and his Administration, that caused injury to public welfare and the interests of the State. Two days ago Dr. Waheed broke his long silence and started giving interviews in international media against President Nasheed's unconstitutional actions against the Judiciary and political opposition. In an interview to local media at his office today, Dr. Waheed attempted to position himself as the savior of the Republic by offering some hope for a viable solution to ‘situation catch-22’ between the Executive and the Judiciary. Dr. Waheed suggest

#Maldives in Constitutional Crisis: An Open Letter to Vice President Dr. Waheed

Male', Maldives. Dear Vice President Dr. Waheed, Firstly, welcome to the Maldivian struggle for human rights and freedom from oppression. Your interview to AP and your blog today maybe a little too late and a little too self serving, but it does add weight to the protest we Maldivians have been engaging in from November 11, 2008 when you stepped into power one step behind President Mohamed Nasheed. Secondly, please do not trivialize the daily struggle of the Maldivian Youth by decrying their efforts. No. We have been protesting since 11 November 2008 against the human rights violations by the regime in which you share and which you worked to put into place, against the poverty and economic degradation brought about by policies and programs run by the Cabinet in which you sit, and the reversal of democracy that you and your colleagues have propagated. Thirdly, it is with great disappointment but no great surprise that we note that the level of your protest against President

#Maldives in Constitutional Crisis: President Nasheed steps up campaign to take over Judiciary

Male', Maldives. President Nasheed today launched a third prong in his takeover bid of the independent Judiciary that was established under the new constitution brought in ex-President Gayoom as part of his Reform Agenda. President Nasheed today led a rally of his militant party Maldives Democratic Party (MDP), at which MDP Vice President Alhan Fahmy announced that he would be leading an MDP protest group to confront Chief Justice Ahmed Faiz Hussain and the rest of the Supreme Court tomorrow. Alhan Fahmy declared that the objective of the protest would be to show Chief Justice Faiz that he had failed in his duties, and to demand action by the Judicial Services Commission against Criminal Court Senior Judge Abdulla Mohamed. Judge Abdulla has been incarcerated by the military and held incommunicado against his will since 16th January 2012. He has not been brought before a court of law since his forced detention. The protest, led by Alhan Fahmy, is in support of a letter to the

#Maldives in Constitutional Crisis: Nasheed's Master Plan may be a deal with opposition partners?

Male', Maldives. Into the sixth day of civic protests against President Nasheed's overturning of the constitution and compromising of judicial independence, the protests shows no sign of abating. If anything, civilian numbers joining the protests each night are increasing. However, at the same time, the protest does show any clear signs of succeeding in its stated demands. Over various nights of protest, leaders of the protest have stated varying demands. It began with a demand for the release of opposition politician Dr. Mohamed Jameel Ahmed, Deputy Leader of Dhivehi Qaumee Party. Dr. Jameel was released upon a criminal court order issued by Senior Judge Abdulla Mohamed. Dr. Jameel has been detained several times since then, yet not arrested as before. President Nasheed immediately took Judge Abdulla into military detention, an action that violated a number of constitutional provisions while raising a hue and cry amongst the Judiciary and independent governance organs of

Maldives: Judicial independence and democracy cannot be restored without regime change

Male', Maldives. The fledgling democracy of the Maldives, carried into place by Gayoom and his DRP, has been well and truly killed by President Nasheed and his militant party, Maldives Democratic Party. Nasheed this week compromised the independence of the judiciary by arbitrarily arresting and holding in isolated detention, Senior Judge of the Criminal Court, Abdulla Mohamed. Chief Justice Ahmed Faiz, Prosecutor General Ahmed Muizzu, Attorney General Abdulla Muizzu, Maldives Lawyers Association, Human Rights Commission of Maldives, and top lawyers around the country have called the act a violation of the constitution and laws. President Nasheed today broke his total silence on the matter, by trying to justify his military action compromising the independence of the judiciary as an action he was required to take in order to uphold the constitution. Nasheed claimed that the Constitution gave him the parental role of protecting and upholding it. His arrest of Judge Abdulla, he s

#Maldives: Speaker Shahid must resign as Parliament fails in its constitutional responsibility to control the military.

Male', Maldives In a direct challenge to the constitutional powers of the Judiciary, Maldives military today ignored a High Court summons to appear before the court and provide an explanation for its arbitrary arrest of Senior Judge of the Criminal Court, Judge Abdulla Mohamed. The Parliament must take ultimate responsibility for failing to control the Nasheed administration's abuse of the country's military and police services. The military has also refused to abide by a Criminal Court order to release Judge Abdulla. By these actions, the military continue to defy the constitution and the Judiciary, holding Judge Abdulla in military detention since last Monday night. More than 48 hours after the military arrest of Judge Abdulla, there has been no word on his whereabouts or his state of health. The military has refused appeals from the Judge's family to be told his whereabouts and his state of health. Over the past 48 hours, the military has ignored demands for his

#Maldives: Military intervention in political wars ... opening new options for military leaders?

Male', Maldives. This week's military intervention in civic affairs is no small matter. Even leaving aside the subjugation of the judiciary to military and police might, the active participation of the military in the Nasheed administrations political wars with political opponents will have caused alarm amongst the more thinking Maldivian voter base. Maldives Defence Minister Tholhath Ibrahim (DIK) said last night, that the military's arbitrary arrest of Senior Judge Abdulla Mohamed was to protect national security and maintain public peace. Reading from a written statement, Minister Tholhath stated on the state television network MNBC1 that the military had acted upon a request from Home Minister Hassan Afeef for military assistance to secure the detention of Judge Abdulla. Judge Abdulla's whereabouts and the state of his health are unknown from the time of his incarceration by the military on January 16, 2012. Military actions cannot be merely dismissed as Mini

Maldives: As all around lose their heads, Adhaalath Party keep their focus

Male', Maldives. As Government, military and police overturn the constitution, as the judiciary deflates like an old balloon, as independent institutions pass the buck to one another, as opposition parties backbite and undermine each other, the one party touted to be the "extreme" party, Adhaalath Party, once again demonstrate their solidity and focus to the Maldivian citizenry. In the unfolding events of President Nasheed's mockery of the constitution, Adhaalath Party has taken the type of concrete logical steps one would like to see from an organized civilized opposition. Tonight, in an emergency meeting of its party council, Adhaalath Party has formed a 7 member committee to analyze the state of the country and to formulate and implement legitimate strategies and actions to change that state to a better one. The committee is headed by Adhaalath Party Chief Shaikh Imran Abdullah, and has the mandate to undertake any action that is not in contradiction to its pr

#Maldives: Government, Military and Police refuse to accept Judicial supremacy. Impeachment or Revolution next?

Male', Maldives. Maldives Military and Police Service have both refused to abide by judicial injunctions ordering them to release two prisoners arrested illegally. Senior Judge Abdulla Mohamed was forcibly removed from his residence by military forces and detained at an offshore military camp. The charges against Judge Abdulla are not yet known. Opposition politician Dr. Mohamed Jameel was re-arrested by police last night in violation of a court order for his release the night before. While opposition parties and democratic institutions continue to protest and call for the release of the prisoners, it is business as usual for President Nasheed and his government. Chief Justice Faiz has ordered Prosecutor General Ahmed Muizzu to take legal action agaist military leader Lt. Gen. Moosa Jaleel to secure the release of Judge Abdulla. However, it is not yet known whether PG Muizzu has taken the appropriate legal steps. PG Muizzu, close friend and class mate of President Nasheed, w