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Investigation into police brutality underway: Police Commissioner

Ahmed Aiham
06 July 2019, MVT 12:08
A screengrab from the video circulating on social media platforms depicting a group of officers from the Drug Enforcement Department (DED) during a court-ordered search operation. PHOTO: SOCIAL MEDIA
Ahmed Aiham
06 July 2019, MVT 12:08

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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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