The World Organization Against Torture (OMCT) has called on the government of Maldives to grant former Vice President Ahmed Adeeb access to medical care.
This comes in reiteration of a letter addressed to President Ibrahim Mohamed by Amnesty International through its South Asia Regional Office.
OMCT stressed that the right to health applies to everyone including detainees.
Amnesty International called upon the Maldivian government to grant Adeeb access to medical care “as and when” necessary.
The NGO stressed that Adeeb, who is currently detained, suffers from several ongoing health conditions and that he was arrested in 2015 for what was believed to be politically motivated charges.
The letter reads that given that Adeeb’s medical concerns are unable to be treated in the Maldives, his legal team first filed a request with the Maldives Correctional Services in 2016 to allow him to travel abroad to seek specialized treatment. That, and every subsequent request for additional treatment, during the previous administration, was denied.
The current administration allowed Adeeb to travel abroad to seek specialized treatment once as medical specialists advised since the necessary treatment was and still is not available in the Maldives.
As you will be aware, failing to provide adequate medical care to prisoners is a violation of the Maldives’ international human rights obligations. As a state party to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the Maldives is legally obliged to respect, promote, protect and fulfil “the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health.” The Prison and Parole Act of Maldives also guarantees adequate healthcare for prisoners. The severity of the situation needs to be emphasized, especially due to prisons being considered dangerous hotspots for the spread of COVID-19.”
~ Amnesty International
In this regard, Amnesty has urged President Solih to ensure that Adeeb is granted prompt, regular and unrestricted access to medical care on request or as necessary.
In mid-July the Criminal Court dropped the seven charges raised against Adeeb on the grounds that a plea deal signed between him and the state was “entered wrongfully”.
The court’s ruling claimed that Adeeb was “forced to sign the plea deals” in exchange for medical treatment.
However, Prosecutor General Hussain Shameem has stated that this is untrue, owing to the fact that one of the two deals was signed upon Adeeb’s return from treatment abroad.
Since then, the High Court has ordered Adeeb to be remanded until the end of the appeal case against him.