241 committee meeting on Jamiyyathul Salaf held behind closed doors

Parliament commiitee on National Security Services (241 committee) held a closed door meeting on Wednesday to discuss taking action against religious organization Jamiyyathul Salaf.

Jamiyyathul Salaf is being investigated on allegations of supporting and encouraging terrorism in the Maldives.

During a committee meeting held Monday, it was decided that the committee would further review the report prepared by Presidential Commission Investigating Murders and Enforced Disappearances on former MP Dr. Afrasheem Ali's murder. A sub committee was formed to gather information from relevant authorities, and review the data.

The sub committee which comprises of Henveiru Hulhangu MP Hassan Latheef, Fares-Maathoda MP Hussein Mohamed Latheef, and Maduvvari MP Adam Shareef Umar concluded its work on Tuesday. Wednesday's 241 committee meeting was agendaed to reach a conclusion on the matter based on the sub-committee's report.

Before beginning Wednesday's Parliament Sitting, Speaker Mohamed Nasheed stated that he had received information that the sub committee had decided that Jamiyyathul Salaf is a religious group that encourages and supports terrorism, and that the committee is preparing to take action against the organization.

The committee meeting held Wednesday to discuss the sub committee report was closed to media. The parliament laws allow for committees to conduct their meetings behind closed doors after taking a vote on the matter among committee members.

Nasheed's revelation warning action against Jamiyyathul Salaf prompted several opposition members to express their concern on the matter. While Nasheed said the organization was first registered during his time as the President of Maldives, he believes the organization would go underground if their activities are stopped now.

"What I believe is that if Jamiyathul Salaf was not registered then, then they would have carried out their work 'underground'. Even if we stop their work now, they will go underground," said Nasheed.

It has now come to light that the information provided by Nasheed regarding the organization's registration was false. A member of the organization posted the organization's registration certificate on social media platform Twitter, which shows the organization was registered on March 12, 2006. Nasheed was elected president in November 2008.

Presidential Commission Investigating Murders and Enforced Disappearances's report on MP and religious scholar Dr. Afrasheem's murder revealed that that an extremist religious organization was behind the murder of former MP. After the report was publicized, Nasheed had warned that Maldives will be 'ruined' if the activities of radical organizations are not put to an immediate stop, and stressed that action should be taken on the findings of the commission's report at the earliest.