Lawyers of Ahmed Adhuham, the president of opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP)’s Feydhoo division, who was arrested under the State of Emergency, have notified the Ministry of Health and the Criminal Court regarding the issue of their client’s hunger strike.
Ahmed Adhuham, who is accused of conspiring to bring down the elected government, has been on a hunger strike since last Thursday. His lawyer Mahfooz Saeed stated that after Adhuham was arrested on February 16, he had been drinking tap water from the toilet in his cell.
His lawyers had sent letters to the Ministry of Health and Criminal Court to notify the authorities on this issue, while MDP had previously brought this issue to the attention of the Human Rights Commission (HRCM).
In the letter addressed to the authorities, Mahfooz had stated that the doctor at the clinic in Dhoonidhoo custodial centre had become annoyed with Adhuham after he was taken to the clinic at midnight due to a toothache. The doctor had expressed his annoyance about the late hour and asked sternly if he could not have waited until sunrise. He diagnosed that there was no issue with Adhuham’s tooth and refused any further specialist consultation.
Mahfooz added that since the doctor in the clinic at the jail was not a dentist, Adhuham was only given a painkiller. Moreover, he stated that since a dental issue was different to other health issues, it required a consultation with a specific type of doctor, and to deny Adhuham that was a violation of the Parole Act. According to Mahfooz, the police were also negligent in this issue.
In the letter addressed to the Minister of Health, Abdullah Nazim, Mahfooz asked the authorities to take action against the doctor in the clinic for violating doctors’ ethics by intentionally obstructing the required treatment.
In the letter to the Criminal Court, he requested the court to question the police why Adhuham was denied treatment even five days into his hunger strike, and to find out what steps were being taken to end the strike.
Adhuham was arrested in an opposition rally calling on the government to implement the landmark Supreme Court ruling of February 1, which ordered to release nine prominent political leaders and to reinstate 12 unseated lawmakers. Apart from Adhuham, MDP’s deputy leader Mohamed Shifaz and other members of the party were also arrested.