Family: Yasir Yahya was not questioned, no basis to allegations

Yasir Yahya Solih. (File Photo)

The family of Yasir Yahya, a Yemeni national that passed while in the custody of Maldivian authorities, has said that he was not questioned regarding the allegations of terrorism against him and was not charged because there was no basis for the allegations.

Yasir passed away three days ago while admitted at IGMH after suffering a heart attack. He had been detained by Maldivian authorities three years ago on March 3. However, no charges were brought forward against him during that period. 

The government had stated that Yasir had links with Al Qaeda and had actively recruited locals for terror activities abroad. Yasir had married a Maldivian after arriving in the Maldives in 2014 and has a three-year-old child. 

Yasir’s family in a statement issued said that there was no basis to the allegations against Yasir due to the fact that Yasir was left free in the society until 2017. The family said that the government was informed of various international agencies about Yasir, and was aware of who he was, but left him free and only moved to cancel his visa and detain him on 2017.

Yasir’s family said that he was summoned to Immigration in February 2017, and ordered to leave the country without any explanation. However, Yasir remained in the Maldives due to the pregnancy of his wife and the dangers that she may be exposed to while traveling. Letters sent by Yasir’s lawyers to Maldives Immigration had gone unanswered after this.

The statement by his family read that despite being informed through trustable sources, the government conducted no investigation and didn’t bring any charges against Yasir because there was no basis to the allegations, even when the law explicitly states that it is a crime to recruit or take part in the operations of a terrorist organization

The state has said that Yasir had not cooperated in obtaining travel documents from the Yemeni government. Yasir’s family denied this. They said that under an agreement Yasir made with Maldives Corrections, the family had tried to arrange Yasir’s departure from the country by traveling to the Yemeni Embassy in Malaysia, which in turn requested a document confirming Yasir’s detention in the Maldives.

“The document requested for the purpose by the family was received from Maldivian authorities on December 9, 2019. The allegations that Yasir could not be deported due to a lack of cooperation from his family or him is completely false.” Read the statement by Yasir’s family.

Yasir had gone on a hunger strike last year, due to the violation of his rights assured under human rights laws, international conventions as well as the Maldivian constitution. He ended the hunger strike after reaching an agreement with Maldives Corrections.

The agreement stated Yasir was to be granted the rights he was entitled to and was to leave the country on his own within 20 months.

“The initial agreement to end the hunger strike expired, and his rights were once again violated which led him to go on another hunger strike. Yasir began the strike on May 18 after phone calls with the family were cut off.” Said the family.

When Yasir complained about this, he was told that it was because he was a foreigner and that the phone calls were not provided due to the situation with COVID-19.

“After being admitted at IGMH on July 14, due to the deterioration of his condition, Yasir ended his hunger strike and was provided with fluids, according to the Maldives Corrections.” Said the family.

Yasir’s lawyers had even requested the Civil Court for a temporary order to move Yasir under house arrest during his last days but was denied by the court which cited courtroom procedures.

After three days since his death, Yasir was buried today.