The rising trend of intimidation of government officials and judges is spinning out of control. It started a few years back as closure of island offices; blockade of atoll offices followed, and now contempt of courts is becoming the norm.
There seems to be little point in making the judiciary independent, if it can be threatened into submission by thugs. There is no point in establishing a civil service, if its functionaries are continuously harassed.
The whole thing could perhaps have been nipped in the bud if decisive action was taken at the point when island offices were being closed. But unfortunately at the time politicians in Male felt it was not their problem. Now it is perhaps too late.
This reminds us of the experience of Martin Niemöller during Nazi days: "In Germany, they came first for the Communists, And I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist; And then they came for the trade unionists, And I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist; And then they came for the Jews, And I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew; And then... they came for me... And by that time there was no one left to speak up."
In the latest incident of this nature, Hulhudhoo Magistrate Ali Nazeer is facing a constant barrage of verbal abuse and death threats. To read the details of the case in Haveeru Daily click here.