The opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) has vehemently denounced allegations made by Ahmed Shifan, spokesperson of the Maldives Police Service (MPS), attributing a recent surge in crime in the Malé region to decisions made by the preceding MDP-led government. In a statement issued on Thursday, the party labelled Shifan’s claims on social media—asserting that the recent increase in crime directly resulted from the previous administration’s decision to release convicts over 10 months ago—as “baseless” and “politically motivated.”

The MDP criticised the spokesperson for making the allegations without presenting any evidence, such as statistics, research, or documentation, adding that they believe such comments are irresponsible coming from an agency constitutionally mandated to ensure public safety and combat crime.

Further defending the former government’s actions, the MDP clarified that the convict releases adhered strictly to the Clemency Act, selecting only those who demonstrated good behaviour, completed rehabilitation and vocational training programmes, and were deemed capable of reintegrating into society as productive members.

“These releases were conditional, designed to discourage recidivism, with the understanding that any criminal activity within a year would lead to the revocation of their freedom and the reinstatement of their original sentences,” the party noted. “The fact that no action has been taken against the perpetrators of the recent crimes, and that they have not been arrested, indicates that they were not released by the previous MDP government.”

The MDP also expressed grave concern over the current administration’s release of a significant number of convicts prior to the April parliamentary elections. “While there have been allegations that the prisoners were released without completing the required procedures, we also call for the release of the list of those released,” the party stated.

Concluding its statement, the MDP emphasised that crime prevention hinges on robust law enforcement and called on the government to fulfil its legal duty in preventing crime rather than shirking this responsibility, thereby ensuring the peace and safety of society and its citizens.