Former President Maumoon Abdul Gayyoom has stated that he did not order for former President Mohamed Nasheed to be tortured during his time in jail. Maumoon also added that “no such incident has taken place to my knowledge.”
Speaking at a television program broadcasted by Rajje TV, Maumoon had denied the allegations that Nasheed was beaten during his time in jail in Maumoon’s administration. He also denied allegations that Nasheed was forcefully fed broken glass pieces and that he was kept tied to a generator.
“Nasheed is someone who has been a President of this country – someone who has gained our respect. I have never thought that a person of such stature would make such false allegations. The truth is that no such incidents had ever taken place. No person has been ever been served broken glass pieces in their food in jail,” Maumoon had said.
He also noted that during his administration, he had occasionally received information that people were being tortured in jails – following which he had formed committees to probe such cases and even sent for prosecution if proven so that the torture took place.
Maumoon also added that torture cases that had taken place in jail was never with the knowledge of the government – and that such incidents continue to happen even though they should never happen.
“Anyone being tortured in jail at any instance is not something I would accept. It is not something I approve and I never have approved it at any time. Such atrocities must never be committed,” Maumoon had said.
‘I WAS THE ONE WHO RIDDED OF THE PILLORY PRACTICE IN THE MALDIVES’
During the same broadcast, Maumoon also highlighted that he was one who ridded of the pillory practice in the Maldives.
“At the time I became the President, the Police used to have a book. This book specified the policies on restraining prisoners by cuffing their hands and feet together to a pillory. After they make a pillory ready – they would still need the approval of existing head of state to enforce the punishment on a prisoner. I had a look at this book – and deemed this was inhumane. I ordered the pillory practice to be stopped. I ridded of that book,” he had said.
‘MY ADMINISTRATION DID NOT IMPOSE ON THE FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION’
In the same broadcast, Maumoon also noted that the government did not impose on its people’s freedom of expression.
“Right to freedom of expression is part of a person’s independence,” he said.
He also highlighted that at the time he had become the President – the law consisted of an article that stipulated that it was a crime to talk about the government in a manner that might create prejudice or hatred towards the government. A person convicted of a such crime could be banished for four years, or even imprisoned.
The article imposed greatly on the right to freedom of expression – thus Maumoon stated that he requested People’s Majilis to review the article two months’ into assuming office, following which it was finally abolished.