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HRCM permitted to visit ex-pres Yameen in prison

Shahudha Mohamed
01 December 2019, MVT 11:52
Former President Abdulla Yameen shaking hands with supporters prior to his verdict on November 28, 2019. PHOTO: HUSSAIN WAHEED/ MIHAARU
Shahudha Mohamed
01 December 2019, MVT 11:52

Maldives Correctional Service on Saturday permitted Human Rights Commission of Maldives (HRCM) to visit former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom, who is currently serving a prison sentence of five years over money laundering.

Commissioner of Prisons Abdulla Munaz confirmed via a tweet that Corrections granted permission for three members of HRCM to visit Yameen in his cell, regarding a case submitted to the commission.

However, Munaz did not reveal further details.

Local media Mihaaru reported that Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) of the opposition coalition, filed a complaint at the human rights watchdog, claiming that Yameen was being held in a cell under unfit conditions.

Yameen was convicted of money laundering last Thursday by the unanimous decision of five judges on the Criminal Court's bench. The former President was sentenced to five years in prison along with a fine of USD 5 million (MVR 77 million).

Opposition parties PPM and People's National Congress (PNC) held protests in front of Malé Prison on Friday and Saturday night.

According to the opposition, Yameen was kept in a cell measuring four feet by six feet which his supporters claim is the smallest cell in Male’ Prison. They further stated that the cell has a broken toilet which cannot be flushed and the space allocated for the ex-president to lie down cannot accommodate his height.

Former Vice President Dr Mohamed Jameel, who previously worked alongside top officials of the current administration to ensure Yameen's conviction but later switched sides to defend the ex-president, requested Yameen to be released on bail until the conclusion of his appeal process.

The former president was later transferred to Maafushi Prison.