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Maldives death row inmate attempts suicide

Mohamed Visham
21 August 2016, MVT 10:16
Prison officials leading Murrath away after a Supreme Court hearing. MIHAARU FILE PHOTO/MOHAMED SHARUHAAN
Mohamed Visham
21 August 2016, MVT 10:16

A 32 year old man death row over the killing of a prominent lawyer attempted to commit suicide in his cell at the main prison in Maafushi island on Saturday.

Corrections service official said Ahmed Murrath had tried to hang himself in his cell before prison guards had saved him.

Murrath was convicted along with his girlfriend of killing a prominent lawyer, Ahmed Najeeb, whose mutilated body was found stuffed in a dustbin in July 2012.

"Murrath is doing fine. There are no visible injuries. He had wrapped the bed-sheet around his neck in the suicide attempt. Prison guards on duty had seen it and stopped him," official said.

Sources say Murrath had been kept in solitary confinement. But cameras had been installed in his cell to monitor him, official added.

Supreme Court last month had upheld Murrath's death sentence.

The government meanwhile ended a de facto moratorium on executions last year.

Since last November, the High Court decided that the President may no longer exercise the power of commuting death sentences to life imprisonment; in June this year, capital punishment regulations were further amended to allow for hanging in addition to lethal injections as methods of execution.

There are currently 17 individuals on death row in the Maldives. Some cases raise serious due process concerns, with three of them including Murrath at imminent risk of execution.

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