Male, March 20 (newsin.asia): The Maldives Criminal Court on Monday extended the detention of Joint Opposition Parliamentary Group Leader, Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, and Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) Deputy Parliamentary Group Leader, MP Ali Azim for a further nine days each.
Ibrahim Mohamed Solih is one of the most senior politicians in the Maldives and has spearheaded the joint opposition’s parliamentary work in the past year.
Solih and Ali Azim were arrested under State of Emergency powers. Maldives Police said in court that both MPs were accused of entering the Republic Square against the orders of the police.
In Court, both lawmakers were denied the protection they are entitled to under the Parliament Members Privileges and Immunities Act, which would, for instance, allow then to attend parliamentary sessions while in detention. That Act had not been suspended under the State of Emergency.
Furthermore, they were subjected to “cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment” at the Dhoonidhoo detention facility.
Ibrahim Mohamed Solih is being kept in a cell with a broken fan. The cell is exposed to direct sunlight from 9 am to 3pm, making it extremely hot. Moreover, after his arrest, the police deliberately delayed giving his medication for a cardiac problem, as well as fresh clothes, which his family had sent to Dhoonidhoo.
Azim, is kept in similar conditions.
President Yameen’s regime is deliberately and systematically subjecting detainees, arrested since he imposed his unlawful State of Emergency on 5 February, the press release said.
Dozens of detainees, including Members of Parliament, are routinely denied medical treatment, kept in filthy and hot cells, forced to endure unsanitary conditions, and given drinking water that is suspected of causing mouth infections.
Ibrahim Mohamed Solih’s treatment highlights the extent to which President Yameen is using the State of Emergency as an excuse to crack down on his political opponents, the MDP charged.
Other detainees who are suffering from cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment include MP Faris Maumoon.
On 16 March, six policemen physically dragged Faris out of his cell in Dhoonidhoo, injuring his shoulder. The Dhoonidhoo doctor prescribed that Faris should undergo a medical check in Male’, but the police refused to take Faris for a further 24 hours.
Other detainees have complained of dirty water and unsanitary conditions, and that the police routinely deny them medical and dental treatment.
President Yameen appears to be conducting a deliberate policy of mistreatment and abuse towards detainees.
“President Yameen’s policy of abuse towards detainees is tantamount to torture. This is in violation of the Maldives Constitution, which prohibits all forms of torture, and international laws to which the Maldives is party. President Yameen, and everyone down the chain of command right to the prison guards, will be held criminally responsible for this abuse once the regime falls,.” the MDP spokesman said.
(The featured image at the top shows Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, senior NDP leader)