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SERIOUS HEALTH CONCERNS FOR MALDIVIAN POLITICIAN

Serious health concerns for Maldivian Politician

Maldives beach - ©iStockphoto.com/Martin Strmko
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Ahmed Adeeb was the Vice President of the Maldives from July 2015 – November 2015 when he was removed by no confidence motion from the People's Majlis [Parliament of Maldives]. He was arrested a few days later for allegedly attempting to assassinate the then President of the Maldives, possession of weapons and seven other charges over financial embezzlement. He was sentenced to combined 33 years in total for attempting to assassinate the former President and possession of weapons. He was kept in isolation for three years during this incarceration. Adeeb was released from custody in 2019, when the Supreme Court overturned his convictions and the Criminal Court dropped other charges against him in July 2020. 

Adeeb raised concerns about his own health after he was denied medical care in prison in 2016. According to medical specialists, the necessary treatment was and still is not available in the Maldives, and he needs to be taken abroad to be treated. Since he was taken into custody on 24 July 2020, Adeeb is being kept in a cell without access to his bipap machine prescribed for sleep apnea. This raises a concern that his other medical conditions will be ignored by the authorities which would put his health and potentially his life at risk. 

Rule 24 of the UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (Nelson Mandela Rules) stipulate, ‘The provision of health care for prisoners is a State responsibility’ and failure to adhere to this shows the government’s lack of respect for the international human rights law, domestic law, and basic human decency. 

Currently, Adeeb is held without access to family or lawyers due to COVID-19 related restrictions on visitors.  
The arrest of Adeeb in 2015 occurred within the context of several other criminal cases against opposition leaders and other political opponents of the former President Yameen. The most high-profile was the conviction of former President Mohamed Nasheed on terrorism charges following a deeply flawed trial in March 2015. There were other cases that followed during the coup in February 2018, all of whom have since been released. 
 

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