Civil Court upholds Maldives Police Service’s decision to fire Aishath Rasheed for participating in ‘Suvaalu’ March

Suvaalu March | Photo: Maldives Independent

Malé, Maldives – The Civil Court of Maldives on Saturday upheld Maldives Police Service (MPS) decision to dismiss from her position as Assistant Director at MPS.

Murdered blogger, Yameen Rasheed’s sister, Aishath Rasheed was dismissed from her job at MPS after participating in the “Suvaalu March” protest on 8 August 2017 to mark three years of journalist Ahmed Rilwan’s abduction.

The Police disciplinary board fired Aishath Rasheed on 16 August 2017 for joining the “Suvaalu March” deemed unlawful because the organisers were not granted permission by the police as required by the 2013 Freedom of Assembly Act.

Rasheed filed an unfair dismissal suit against MPS at the Civil Court against MPS on 26 October 2020, seeking MVR 441,111.14 as compensation. Rasheed maintained that she did not have the knowledge that the protest was held unlawfully.

The MPS defence stated that as Rasheed admitted to joining the protest along with photographic evidence to the effect and the protest was held illegally, the Police disciplinary board’s decision was lawful.

Saying that the plaintiff is not accountable and did not know the law, after participating in an event that would incite contention among the police is not an acceptable excuse.

Civil Court of Maldives

Civil Court judgement stated that not knowing that the law is not an acceptable excuse and considering that Rasheed was given a warning previously, the disciplinary board has the authority to dismiss her.

Aishath Rasheed expressed her dismay on social media stating that the commission after investigation, declared it as an unfair dismissal and the police even offered her a new job that she refused seeking to be reinstated to her previous job.

Maldivian Journalist Ahmed Rilwan Abdulla disappeared in 2014 after being forced into a car at knifepoint outside his home on the island of Hulhumalé. Rilwan’s close friend Yameen Rasheed who pursued his disappearance was brutally stabbed to death on April 23, 2017, at the stairwell of his residence in Malé.