For Want of Authority.
Freedom to Express is a fundamental right granted by the Constitution (2008) to one and all, and a necessity for democracy. The Right to be Heard, however, is not assured by the Right to Speak, and in a polity of contesting voices, the necessary task of deciding Who, What and Why, is left to the media as public watchdog.
The media, then, legitimises the Authority to Speak granting it to the men and few women of Power, easily identified by their regalia which includes but is not limited to:
· Titles such as President, Uz., Dr., Sheikh, MP, Minister, State Minister, Former AG, Former Justice Minister, Former President etc.;
· State provided car, and private jeeps etc.
· An entourage;
I, Velezinee , appointed to the Interim Judicial Services Commission as Member from Amongst the General Public (23 April 2009 to 26 July 2009), continuing as Member appointed by the President to the Judicial Service Commission under Article 157 of the Constitution, am accompanied by none of the regalia, which for the media and many others, means I do not have a legitimate right to speak. This platform provides me with a space in the public sphere the media only grants to ‘authority’ based on its trappings.
The Judicial Service Commission (JSC) has not designated me working space or provided me with any other necessary administrative support to carry out my Constitutional obligations and duties, despite regular requests over a year (till end of April 2009). Even the most basic means of formal affiliation such as a business card or an email address has been denied to me, leaving my words with no official support structure and, therefore, no authority.
In addition, JSC refused to publish details of Members’ professional and educational background; to open up meetings to the Media; or to provide equal opportunity for all Members to participate.
The deliberate secrecy provided the space for Judge Abdulla Didi of the Criminal Court (Member elected from Amongst the Lower Court judges) to keep the judges misinformed of deliberations and decisions in JSC, be it through ignorance or by criminal intent; leading to rifts between the so-called Government (in effect the Democratic Administration of President Nasheed) and the Judiciary. Some judges notably Criminal Court Chief Judge Abdulla Mohamed, deny Democracy, breach trust, and compromise faith in justice, in a highly personalised vendetta against President Nasheed who has strongly resisted demands from the JSC “Leadership”, as well as particular organisations within the legal community and certain MPs, to remove Velezinee for alleged misconduct and lack of etiquette.
MP of the Opposition DRP-PA co-alition, Dr. Afraasheem Ali, personally changed the Constitution outside of the Parliament, when he, with the acknowledged authority of an MP, pronounced Article 285, ‘symbolic’.
Speaker Abdulla Shahidremained silent. And when asked, pointedly, to recall from his participation in Constitution-writing the Object and Purpose of Article 285, and to explain its’ relevance as the cornerstone for building Democratic Government in Maldives, evaded the question. His response: the Speaker has no authority to speak for the Parliament without a Parliament decision on the matter. A request to seek the advice and opinion of the Parliament was ignored.
Ousted Justice, Mujuthaaz Fahmy of the Interim Supreme Court carefully managed The Plot using all his wisdom, and unlawfully appropriated powers in both the JSC and the Interim Supreme Court and abused the high regard he had in the judiciary where he was aptly named “The King”.
Interim Civil Service Commission President Dr. Mohamed Latheef, a Minister and High Commissioner to the UN of former President Gayoom could not deny the judges and parliament majority, as he awaited two major decisions of utmost importance: i.e. a Court decision on matters against President Nasheed’s Administration, and a Parliament decision on his re-appointment to the Civil Service Commission at the end of the interim period.
Justice Adam Mohamed Abdulla hand-picked to the interim High Court bench from school teacher (Islam) by the outgoing regime of former President Gayoom, first found a seat on the JSC through the forced removal of High Court Chief Justice Abdul Ghani Mohamed, at the time the Chair of JSC. Ghani’s removal was engineered in collusion by three of the then five-member High Court bench who accused Justice Ghani of misconduct in JSC, as well as every other breach of trust possible under the Constitution. A Public Announcement made on 21 January 2010 validated Ghani’s removal.
Justice Mujuthaaz as Vice Chair kept fort at JSC. He refused to permit an investigation, unanimously approved on 21 January 2010, of the three justices involved in the High Court mutiny, declaring (or muttering under his breath, to be precise) saying an investigation into the manner in which Justice Ghani was removed posed national security and public order threats.
The matter of the High Court declaration of 21 January 2010 remains undecided in JSC, whilst Justice Adam Mohamed Abdulla moved up to the Supreme Court above Chief Justice of High Court Abdul Ghani Mohamed. He has since returned to JSC to replace ousted Justice Mujuthaaz Fahmy, voted himself Chair of JSC with a “majority” of five votes from the 10-Member Commission.
Today, Justice Adam Mohamed Abdulla, who I believe, must be submitted to a psychiatric assessment of his sanity if he is to remain on the bench (see Urgent Motion to Commission available on this website), holds JSC to a dictatorship; refusing, as ousted Justice Mujuthaaz Fahmy did, to agenda and adopt the Standard Operation Procedure of JSC - required by Law to have been adopted within 06 months of JSC’s constitution, a deadline passed on 26 January 2010.
High Court Chief Justice Ghani who returned to JSC following Justice Adam Mohamed’s rise to the Supreme Court bench, today sits on JSC together with Justice Adam Mohamed, further raising questions as to the validity of the claims made by Justice Adam Mohamed on 21 January 2010.
The very serious allegations I have continuously made, in public, of corruption at the highest level, by those trusted by the public to work in the best interest of the nation and the people, remain unchecked, whilst I am subject to continued harassment and bullying, belittlement, and ridicule by the “Men of Good Standing” who decide what is said, what is heard, what is told (to the media, judges, and public), and what goes on record in JSC.
The Secretariat staff have been ordered NOT to assist Velezinee and have been threatened with legal action if found to have provided any support (such as supplying Minutes and Audio Records of Proceedings, copies of Motions adopted, and the necessary information for an Informed Decision on matters before the Commission). They are subjected to continued bullying and intimidation by the self-appointed “Leadership” who are an affront to democracy.
The tale I tell is “Big” and, for many, far too serious to be taken seriously from a “woman of no status”, a woman who is not only accessible to the media and public, but seeks them out to tell the tale of Article 285. “Big” Men of “Good Standing” do not walk the streets chasing media…
The judges themselves remain hijacked by The Plotters who conspired to deny their independence, compromised an Independent Judiciary, and deprived the people of Trust in Justice. It is a conspiracy - I have reason to believe, and evidence to prove - to deny the People the Constitution and Democratic government.
Having failed to bring the necessary change from within JSC; having been dismissed by the Parliament as a woman of no consequence; and having been denied a Fair Hearing by the overloaded and highly politicised local media for want of Authority, I ask the public to call for a Fair Hearing.
Hear me out. And do the needful.
Justice cannot flourish together with corruption, and JSCs denial of independence to judges to uphold their duty without fear or favour has compromised the Independent Judiciary assured to the people by the Constitution, deprived the Common Individual Right held by each and every one from amongst the people, without discrimination on any grounds, to a Free and Fair Trial.
Today I appeal to the Public, and the International Community, claiming my inalienable right to a FAIR HEARING, in an Open Public Inquiry.
27 November 2010
Male', Republic of Maldives