Maldives minister relieved of MONICON authority amid gang violence spree

Home Minister Umar Naseer with president Yameen at the official ceremony to mark the 83rd Anniversary of Maldives Police Service. MIHAARU PHOTO/NISHAN ALI

Home Minister Umar Naseer (3RD R) with president Yameen (2ND R) at the official ceremony to mark the 83rd Anniversary of Maldives Police Service. MIHAARU PHOTO/NISHAN ALI

President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom on Sunday relieved the home minister of the authority to issue monitoring and control (MONICON) orders to appoint a four member committee to handle the task.

However, the controversial anti terrorism law only affords the authority to issue MONICON orders to the home minister. But the newly formed committee mandated to “advise” the home minister on MONICON orders has effectively relieved the minister as the sole authority for such orders.

In addition to Home minister Umar Naseer, the committee comprises of fisheries minister Dr Mohamed Shainee, finance minister Abdulla Jihad and police commission Ahmed Areef.

Umar told Mihaaru that he would no longer have the sole authority to make decisions over MONICON orders.

“I will now act according to their advise. Earlier only one person [home minister] had the authority. But now one person can’t decide,” Umar who had been the strongest advocate to introduce MONICON said.

The minister also agreed that the formation of the committee violates the anti-terrorism law.

Maldives has electronically tagged, conducted surveillance and intercepted communications of several high-profile gang members which has put pressure on Umar from even within the government.

Opposition parties have continued to accuse president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom’s for having links to gangs.

The decision to relieve Umar of MONICON authority also came after a spate of gang related stabbings that left two fourteen year olds dead.

 

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