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Parliamentary Committee to investigate police brutality case

Mariyam Malsa
08 July 2019, MVT 16:30
The Parliament's Human Rights and Gender Committee. PHOTO: HUSSEIN WAHEED/MIHAARU
Mariyam Malsa
08 July 2019, MVT 16:30

The Parliament's Human Rights and Gender Committee, on Sunday, finalised the decision to summon and question relevant authorities regarding a recent police brutality case.

Commissioner of Police Mohamed Hameed confirmed that Drug Enforcement Department (DED) officers were under investigation for manhandling and harming a suspect during an arrest after a video of the incident went viral on social media.

The parliamentary committee unanimously decided to allocate 48 hours to the National Integrity Commission (NIC), the Human Rights Commission of Maldives (HRCM) and the police's Professional Standard Commands (PSC) to provide written information on the steps taken against the culpable officers. The parliamentary committee also decided to meet members of the respective institutions.

The motion passed by the committee was a combination of two separate submissions.

The first motion, presented by Meedhoo MP Rozaina Adam, proposed to monitor actions taken against officers involved in the incident. Parliamentarian for the constituency of Maafannu North Imthiyaz Fahmy endorsed the motion.

Dhangethi MP and former Defence Minister Mohamed Nazim submitted the second motion which proposed to identify causes for police brutality and to cooperate with relevant authorities to prevent such actions.

MP Rozaina requested to combine the two motions before Committee Chair and Hinnavaru MP Jeehan Mahmood announced a vote.

All committee members expressed concern after viewing the viral social media video, harshly condemned the actions and asserted that such actions were unacceptable under any circumstances.

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. For the duration of the video, the person did not exhibit any sign of retaliation and was compliant to the officers' bidding.

Speaking on the issue, Dhangethi MP stated that since citizens remained under the protection of the police, it was unacceptable for people to be injured by officers.

He also stated that the current government came to power to investigate previous inhumane acts committed by the police. However, the parliamentarian stated that he was sceptical whether these cases could be investigated adequately.

"Considering police actions, the operation conducted to find the people that videotaped the incident should also not be allowed".

MP Rozaina also stated that the police existed for the protection of citizens and that officers inflicting harm on citizens in contravention of the law could not be tolerated.

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