Parliament today: Inmate’s death prompts motion over indefinite detentions

Fonadhoo MP Moosa Siraj. (Photo/People's Majlis)

A motion has been presented at the Parliament urging urgent action to take measures to provide inmates facing indefinite detentions better access to medical care. 

The motion was presented by Fonadhoo MP Moosa Siraj at the parliamentary sitting on Tuesday morning. 

Siraj said that scores of people spend years ordered to jail pending the outcome of their trials, including defendants awaiting their pre-trial hearings, defendants whose trials are stymied at the witness testimony stage, and defendants awaiting sentencing. 

Siraj said that as the issue of indefinite detentions remain unresolved, the next biggest issue is lack of proper access of defendants in indefinite detentions to medical care. 

“The next concern is the lack of proper access to medical care to hundreds in detention, including those ordered to indefinite detention,” he said. 

He highlighted on the death of Ismail Shabeen, 46, M. Malas, K. Male’, who had been detained at the Male’ Prison pending the outcome of his drug trial, and died shortly after he was taken to Indhira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH) on October 5, after he suffered respiratory difficulties.   

Siraj said that Shabeen, a known diabetic, had repeatedly requested for access to medical care – but had not been provided the treatment he needed. 

“This is evidence of lack of proper medical arrangements at the prisons, even now,” he said. 

Home Minister Imran Abdulla, who attended the Parliament to answer questions on Monday, denied Maldives Correctional Service had been negligent in the Shabeen’s death. 

He said that Shabeen had been provided access to the medical care he needed.