'We will not kneel before MDP': Dr. Shaheem

Former Islamic Minister Dr. Mohamed Shaheem Ali Saeed stated fear tactics would not stop him from carrying on political work and that he will not kneel before main-ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP).

Shaheem made these remarks while the parliament committee on National Security Services (241 committee) has concluded the former Islamic Minister had given false information regarding the murder of former Ungoofaru MP Dr. Afrasheem Ali, and recommended the parliament to take action against him. A decision will be made regarding the committee's report on Tuesday.

The former Minister said while no accusations have been made against him that links him to the murder, the parliament is seeking vengeance through destroying his work and tarnishing his name. The presidential commission Investigating Murders and Enforced Disappearances has not reported any contradiction in the information he provided to authorities, noted Shaheem.

"I was informed that there were no allegations against me regarding the [Afrasheem's murder] case. While this is the case, why is the parliament trying to ruin me?," questioned Shaheem.

"It is the biggest injustice in the country's recent history when the very people who claim to work against injustice and unfairness are slaying the dignity and reputation of people in front of the whole world", he added.

Describing the parliament's move as a 'terrorist attack', Shaheem called on President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih to put a stop to it. Shaheem further said the government should put a stop to such acts, pointing out that it is the responsibility of the government to protect the dignity and respect of the country's citizens.

"Dr. Afrasheem was not given any opportunities during MDP's three-year rule. I gave him the opportunity [in terms of religion] under my ministership. I conveyed to the Presidential Commission that he [Afrasheem] confided in me regarding MDP not giving him opportunities," said Dr. Shaheem.

Shaheem said that it was disappointing that Parliament Speaker Mohamed Nasheed had announced while presenting the summary report on Dr. Afrasheem's murder at the parliament that Shaheem 'fled' to Qatar the morning after Dr. Afrasheem was murdered. However, he did not leave the country on the date, and the report made no indication that he left the country at the time, said Shaheem.

'God willing, fear tactics will not faze me. It will not stop me from continuing with political and religious activities. We will not kneel before MDP," said Shaheem.

Shaheem said the report prepared by the 241 committee made several false accusations against local religious scholars. He called on members of the Parliament to use their logic, and reject the report at Tuesday's sitting.