Nasheed faces arrest

Former Maldivian President Mohamed Nasheed is to be questioned by the police over allegations he is responsible for attacks on police property during political unrest in the country.

According to his spokesman, Nasheed has been ordered to be present at the police headquarters on Thursday to respond to the charges raised against him.

“It is with deep concern that we note that President Nasheed has been issued a summons to appear at police Head Quarters on the 2nd of August 2012 in connection with a criminal investigation at a time when the political and legal environment of the country is under unprecedented stress,” his lawyers said in a statement.

Matters of major concern raised by Nasheed’s lawyers are :

1. Former President Nasheed was selected as the official Presidential candidate of the Maldivian Democratic Party through party primaries held on 16 June 2012 by 32,305 votes (MDP membership is 48,393). The Waheed administration is currently demonstrating a clear pattern of abuse of power and tactics aimed at removing Nasheed from the upcoming Presidential race.

2. President Nasheed resigned from office under duress. The factions of the police force, which are still in power, orchestrated the ouster of Nasheed from office. It is notable that the law categorically requires that in the case of a former President, he/she be addressed as “former President.” However, the police, in their letter addressed President Nasheed as “Mr. Nasheed” and this shows Police’s extreme disrespect towards Nasheed. Furthermore members of the security forces have openly issued death threats to Nasheed.

3. The letter to summon Nasheed is baseless and fails to state any specific charges. The letter refers indirectly to attacks on police, vandalizing of police property and claims that their observations have led them to believe Nasheed is responsible for such events.

4. The Commission of National Inquiry, the body charged with investigating the events leading to Nasheed’s resignation from office, is currently active in its ongoing investigation and is making rapid progress.

5. There have been numerous calls for Nasheed’s arrest by prominent politicians within the ruling coalition, and numerous attempts have been made by the police to arrest him.

6. Nasheed has been assaulted by the police on various occasions since his resignation from office, and these instances are still being investigated by the Police Integrity Commission.

In view of the above facts his lawyers say they are extremely concerned for the personal safety of Nasheed should he enter the police premises.

“Upon assessment of the facts surrounding the summons, we conclude that this summons is an attempt by the Government to thwart the progress of the Commission of National Inquiry and former President Nasheed’s participation in upcoming elections,” the lawyers said.