The Edition


Will thoroughly investigate Police conduct during protests: CP Hameed

Lamya Abdulla
02 May 2021, MVT 15:14
Police attempting to arrest someone at the protest.
Lamya Abdulla
02 May 2021, MVT 15:14

On Sunday, Police Commissioner Mohamed Hameed stated that a thorough investigation will be conducted into the conduct of Police officers during the protests on Saturday evening.

A peaceful protest lead by the youth to raise awareness against sexual harassment in the workplace called "Raise Up MV" was stopped by the police.

The gathering started on Rasfannu but moved to Majeedhee Magu, when police attempted to stop them in front of Sunfront shop. The protestors had been using megaphones to protest.

According to a protestor that spoke to local media outlet Mihaaru, they were attempting to walk on Majeedhee Magu when police blocked their way. They then started to walk towards Eyecare Opticals, but the police barricaded the area. Finally, they went back to Majeedhee Magu and sat on the roads.

Protestors said that police took some of their megaphones and targeted a girl amongst them. The protests became violent after they refused to let them arrest her. Pepper spray and violence was used after that.

Pictures and videos circulating social media display violent behaviour from the police, using excessive force and pepper spray.

"I have ordered an inquiry in to the policing of last night's protest against sexual harassment. I fully understand the public concerns and a thorough investigation and the actions of the officers concerned is now being carried out by Professional Standards," Hameed said via Twitter, Sunday morning.

Police had made a statement on Saturday evening as well, that the Use of Force Review Committee within the Professional Standards Command was investigating the issue. They had said they would release further details as the investigation carries out.

Home Minister Imran Abdulla also stated this matter would be further investigated.

Harsh criticism aimed at the Police

When photos and videos of how the police conducted themselves made to the social media, the police has been heavily criticised by the public. Protestors believe the police used unjustified amounts of force and violence in regards to the protests.

One twitter user had said they believe there should be other routes the police can take on such issues. They expressed people should be allowed to protest peacefully.

"Could they have not handled it without using this much violence or pepper spray?" Parliament representative for Vilimale' constituency Ahmed Usham said via twitter.

Protestors also claimed that the police were disrespectful towards the journalists on scene Saturday evening.