NIC: Will investigate in collaboration with police and conduct Abdulla’s postmortem

Abdulla Rasheed, 43.

National Integrity Commission (NIC) has confirmed its decision to conduct a postmortem on the body of the man who died whilst in police custody on Tuesday evening.

Abdulla Rasheed, 43, was arrested in a counter-drug operation from a café near the harbor of GDh. Hoadedhdhoo at approximately 02:15 pm Tuesday. The police hired a private speedboat to transport him to another island. He died en route.

According to the family and many Hoadedhoo and Madaveli residents Abdulla had repeatedly complained of chest pains when the police had him board the boat, and the officers there dismissed it as an act and denied him medical treatment.

Police have decided to perform an autopsy to determine the cause of death. Abdulla’s body was transported to Male’ City on Tuesday, and has been stored at the Galolhu Mortuary ever since.

However, Abdulla’s family has objected to conducting the postmortem, pleading with authorities to hand over the body for burial.

In a statement released on Thursday night, NIC said that they are spearheading a criminal investigation into the death of Abdulla, who passed away whilst in police custody. 

They detailed that this investigation will proceed under the Criminal Procedure Code, in collaboration with the police.

As per the statement, the lead investigator’s role in the investigation is assumed by NIC, with the police’s main role being to assist in the investigation.

“In light of how important it is to ensure justice is reached in this case, we inform of our decision to conduct a postmortem on the body of late Abdulla Rasheed,” the statement read.

Abdulla’s younger sister, Mizada Mohamed told Sun the family does not wish to have an autopsy done. She said the family met with senior officials and pleaded them to have Abdulla’s body released so they can bury him. His mother, Mariyam Ahmed, also expressed the same sentiments.

She added that the family has lodged complaints with the Human Rights Commission of Maldives (HRCM) and other relevant authorities over the refusal to release the body.

Abdulla, who was involved in the sea cucumber business, had lived in Hoadedhdhoo alone. His wife and four children – three girls and one boy - reside in Male’ City.