HRCM and law enforcement oversight body probe May Day Protestor’s death

Abdullah Rasheed Mohamed with Maldives Correctional Service officers --

Abdullah Rasheed Mohamed with Maldives Correctional Service officers —

The Human Rights Commission of the Maldives (HRCM) and the National Integrity Commission (NIC) have finally begun investigating the death of the May Day protestor who passed away suddenly whilst serving his sentence.

Abdullah Rasheed Mohamed, 51, passed away at the state-run Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH) in Male early in October shortly after he was brought to the capital Male to be treated for dysentery, Maldives Correctional Service (MCS) had initially claimed.

He was one of the nine protestors who were convicted after the heated May Day rally in 2015. Last year, the Criminal Court had found Mohamed guilty of inciting violence and assaulting law enforcement officers during the major protest.

Mohamed’s family, as well as his cellmates had claimed that he was denied proper medical treatment in prison, despite him requesting to see a doctor several times.

It was initially reported that Mohamed was only brought to Male for treatment after he had fainted in his cell and his cellmates had called out to the guards for help.

His family had claimed that Mohamed had been of sound health and had no known serious conditions prior to his arrest. However, after he was “imprisoned unjustly and stripped of his fundamental rights,” his health started deteriorating, and despite making several requests to seek medical treatment, MCS had ignored these pleas, his family had claimed.

Since MCS falls under the jurisdiction of the law enforcement oversight body NIC, the institution on Wednesday said that it will investigate the numerous allegations made against MCS in Mohamed’s death and take necessary action, if they find any evidence of negligence.

Meanwhile, the HRCM on Monday – a week after Mohamed’s death – visited the Maafushi Prison where Mohamed was kept, for its own investigation in to his death.

The opposition, along with Mohamed’s family had called out on the delay in HRCM’s intervention, and duly noted how HRCM is supposed to investigate and draw up its own report if anyone under the state’s care passes away, despite the circumstances of their death.

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