Speaker Nasheed expresses joy as steps taken towards Police reform

Malé, Maldives –  Former President and current Speaker of the Parliament Mohamed Nasheed has expressed his joy today as Parliament starts the appointment process for a Member of the Police board.

February 8th has a special significance to Nasheed, as it the day in 2012 that him and numerous MDP supporters set out to protest the Police and Military aided coup just a day earlier.

Police brutality at these protests that spanned years was the main reason behind the recently passed ” Maldives Police Service Act”, under which the previously mentioned Police board is being established.

“I am very happy today, and very much at ease as we have reached the final phase of this work [Police reform]”

Mohamed Nasheed

He added that while Police controlled the riots of 8th February 2012, numerous individuals received various injuries, and that he is delighted that the same individuals are now high ranking officials.

Mohamed Nasheed has previously said that the Maldives Police Service Act enables a promising future for all those working in the Maldives Police Service.

The Act, stipulated under Article 92 of the Maldivian Constitution, was approved by the parliament on December 6 and was ratified by the President on Sunday. Implementation of the act is to start three months after the act is published in the Government Gazette.

Following the ratification of the act by the President, Speaker Nasheed tweeted saying that the amendments in the act were long awaited by many policemen as well as locals. He added that these amendments enable a promising future for the policemen.

In addition to establishing the fundamental principles, guidelines, roles and other aspects concerning police officers, the Act mandates all officers to ensure the safety of the public without discrimination or influence, in accordance with human rights best practices. The Act also promotes professional standards and aims to establish community-based policing services under a decentralised system.

Furthermore, the Act calls for the formation of the Police Board, which is tasked with overseeing and making decisions pertaining to police matters, within 14 days of ratification. The board of 7 members will be comprised of 2 members appointment by the President, 3 people with education and experience in a certain sector as well as two elected locals from the public.