Sheikh Imran Abdulla

The leader who wouldn’t blink an eye in front of torture; 1000 days behind bars

  • Imran Abdulla was arrested on the 01st of May 2015
  • Imran had spearheaded the May Day 2015 rally, the biggest in the county's history
  • The opposition coalition marked his 1,000 days in prison on Thursday night

Humaam Ali

K. Male' 2018 Jan 25 | Thu 23:29 3,190 report

AP leader Imran Abdulla - RaajjeMV

Adhaalath party’s leader Sheikh Imran Abdulla was arrested on terror allegations on the 01 st of May 2015 after the massive May Day protest led by the opposition. While it has been a thousand days since his arrest, there is no one who won’t be bewildered by the courage and strength he has shown from the beginning till now.

Imran Abdulla started out as a dutiful follower of President Abdulla Yameen, having had put much effort into bringing the president to power, but, after all his attempts in his reform work to better the administration’s practices failed, Sheikh Imran stopped supporting the President and joined the opposition movement. Even though he knew ex-VP Ahmed Adeeb was the president’s most trusted confidante, Imran advised the president against the close bond.

When the government finally turned a deaf ear to his unrewarding words and with the increase of controversies throughout the administration, Imran decided to switch his allegiance. He then started reform work with the opposition to make sure the constitution doesn’t go down an atrocious path.

Albeit the difference in political views, Imran proved to the government that he would join whichever crowd he has to, for the sake of the country, this, the government refused to acknowledge.

In the May Day rally, Imran Abdulla talked about how the heinous acts of brutality were and how breaking the laws were not given a second thought to in the administration with no regard to what the consequences for him may turn out to be.

With no regard to any attacks that may befall him, he called out to the dominant leaders of the government at the time, to bring an end to the heinous schemes that were being carried out. With no fear for the government’s fury that he may have to face. In Imran’s words, the only way he would have stopped the battle for justice, the only way for him to leave the battle field would be to have him shoved behind bars and to embezzle from him, his independence.

Even while knowing the judicial courts and government organizations are under the power of the administration, Sheikh Imran decisively met with police officials to seek permission to hold the mass May Day rally claiming all responsibility to his party, Adhaalath party. He was the leader of the troops that took to the streets on May Day. Leaders of other political parties also agree that he was the one who showed leadership, held deliberations and gave instructions within the parties on how the mass rally should go down.

The government believes that the reason for a thousand citizens to take to the streets against the government for the biggest rally the country has ever seen was Sheikh Imran himself. This resulted in the untimely arrest of Imran at the end of the protest. After that, verdicts were issued while he was behind bars.

Shortly after his case was sent for prosecution after the police having investigated Imran’s speech at the May Day rally, terror allegations were raised on him for apparently having incited violence among protestors.

Nobody with conscious thinking could come up with the reason for the terror allegations raised against Imran. The state evidently could not hear Imran’s recurrent calls to cease acts of cruelty towards anyone.

Although then tourism minister Ahmed Adeeb was conducting various schemes within the government at the time, Imran’s persistence on not wanting any harm for him was ignored by the PG and Police officers. The only thing they chose to hear was what the lawyers of the state believe Imran asking the people to stand up in another way is an unswerving act of terrorism.

The way the judge who took his case asked for the motive behind the sentence paves way for the belief to set in that it’s not an unprejudiced hearing. When the protestors left the area to go for Maghrib prayers they were confronted by the police which led to the scatter of protestors in different directions. Witticism arose that the blame was put on Imran for the dispute that was created among protestors and the police. The state prosecutors implied various reasons as to why the terror charges were applied on Imran as well as a justification for it on numerous occasions.

The state claims that the disputes that flared within the rally that day was the result of Imran having incited hateful speech that spread violence amid protestors. Imran was not the only one who spoke in the May Day rally and the state could not show any evidence that the people who tussled with the police did so under Imran’s instructions. While state prosecutors spread a lot of unbiased stories, like many believed beforehand, Imran was sentenced to Prison.

Then criminal court’s chief judge Abdul Baaree Yoosuf put terrorism allegations on Imran and sentenced him to twelve years behind bars on the night of 16 th of February 2016. The allegations pinned on Imran and the verdicts issued on him prove that justice is lost in the judiciary of the country.

Even when the deliberations on parliamentary constitutions were heard, Imran remained steadfast. He swore on Almighty Allah that the charges against him were baseless and that he never provoked terror like he was indicted of yet he never mentioned his regret for everything he claimed about the government and president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom.

Although he has had to spend a thousand days inside a forlorn prison cell, the bond he has with the opposition has not weakened. He hasn’t given anybody the satisfaction of saying there is an agreement between him and the government. He hasn’t given the government the satisfaction of saying he has fled the country by asking for medical treatment abroad. He remains within the four walls he was kept in then.

Although he was transferred to house arrest occasionally with the international pressure put on the administration with the help of opposition movements, he has never met with any of the government officials. Instead he continued to show through his words and actions that he stands firmly against the government’s controversies. This is evident from the interview he gave to RaajjeTV while he was under house arrest.

Although he faces difficulties in prison after that, every time the opposition leaders pose their messages to members, there is always one from Imran. In his message he insists on staying steadfast in their reform work, to not give up and reminds us all that there is no support from him for the president.

Imran was one who always raised his voice against corruption and cunning deeds, nothing let his spirits wither. Although Imran was jailed, president’s Yameen’s desires and intentions remain unfulfilled and hollow. Neither Imran nor his supporters will ever go back to support and stand by president Yameen again. To this day, everybody believes that Imran is a sensible, confident and dedicated leader who does not hesitate to stand up for what he believes in.

Last updated at: 3 weeks ago | Reviewed by: Aishath Shaany

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