Maldives Police Service (MPS) has stated that the bodyguards of former President Mohamed Nasheed had given statements stating that they did not see Nasheed being pepper sprayed in the protest held at Fareedhee magu and Chandhanee magu junction on the night of July 14.
The press statement by police detailed that the statements from the body guards assigned to protect Nasheed of the Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) Special Protection Unit had reported being at his (Nasheed’s) side during the clashes and pepper spray being used at the protest that night. However, they denied witnessing pepper spray being used on the former President and the police officers involved in the incident.
The press statement also noted that pepper spray was used as protesters on the east side of Chandhanee magu had tried to advance and break in to the police line, while the protesters on the west side of Chandhanee magu had backed off according to the policemen who had been active on the scene. Police had refuted the allegations of intentionally pepper spraying Nasheed.
Police stated that protesters pushed the barricades as Nasheed had joined the protest and had tried to advance with his supporters. Protesters at the east side of Chandhanee magu tried to go forward near ‘Fresh Air’ shop. Police claimed that they had only used pepper spray to control the protesters as they tried to break through the police lines and create violence. It also stated that the situation had calmed after using pepper spray while stressing that the spray was not targeted at any individual.