The Edition
facebook icon twitter icon instagram icon linkedin icon


Will ensure justice for Abdulla Rasheed's death: President

During Friday night's Ahaa Forum, Shehenaz Abdul Raheem, widow of Abdulla Rasheed, beseeched to President Dr Mohamed Muizzu to ensure justice for the death of her husband in custody. The President assured it will be done.

Mariyath Mohamed
24 February 2024, MVT 11:45
Abdulla Rasheed - while serving a prison sentence of five years, he died in custody.
Mariyath Mohamed
24 February 2024, MVT 11:45

During Friday night's Ahaa Forum, Shehenaz Abdul Raheem, widow of Abdulla Rasheed, beseeched to President Dr Mohamed Muizzu to ensure justice for the death of her husband in custody, for which she has been advocating for in vain for years now.

Abdulla Rasheed, 51 at the time of death, was sentenced to prison for 5 years on charges of physically attacking police officers during a major anti-government demonstration held on May 1, 2015 by the opposition in former President Abdulla Yameen's administration.

While in custody, Abdulla Rasheed passed away. His family maintains that his death is the result of negligence on the part of Maldives Correctional Service, for having delayed treatment. They say that when Abdulla Rasheed was finally brought to IGMH in Male' and provided medical treatment, his condition had worsened beyond the point of saving. Subsequently, the family submitted the case to the Office for Transitional Justice established by the former government.

"Where do I go next in my quest for justice?"

Now a single mother of five, Shehenaz shared her troubles and concerns with the President in last night's Ahaa Forum.

She said that while the Office of Transitional Justice had been discontinued with the new government coming into office, she remained without having received justice for her late husband.

Shehenaz revealed that it had taken three visits to the Office to even get a copy of the report. The report, ultimately, said only that Abdulla Rasheed must receive justice. It then said that the government should issue an apology and pay compensation.

"But where do I go next? I have no idea where I am supposed to go now. I have even submitted a letter to the President's Office, along with the report. I am someone who lives alone, taking care of five children," she asked.

Shehenaz said that in her quest for justice, she had been forced to share several personal details about the lives of herself and her family with the previous government and the Office of Transitional Justice, and yet her efforts had reaped no results.

"You are our beloved President. And so, I implore to you, when? Are we going to have to wait another five years in the hope for justice? Will I receive justice in these five years?"

It will not take five years: President

Upon hearing the appeals of Shehenaz, the President immediately conferred with the Attorney General Ahmed Usham.

He then responded, "No, you will not have to wait another five years. I have said even just now that I am here to establish a caring administration. It is with this promise that the people handed me this responsibility".

"God willing, I will find a solution for that," he said.

The President explained that the Act on the Office of Transitional Justice formed by the previous government stipulated that it would only be effective until the end of their last day in office.

"That is why the office was discontinued from then. It is not something that happened as a result of the change in government. It is because of how they made the law. I also regret that fact," he said.

He further revealed that all the cases that that office had been looking into has now been transferred to the Attorney General's Office.

He noted that Shehenaz, too, had met with the Attorney General regarding her concerns.

The President assured that the Attorney General would proceed with this case, amongst others.

Former President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih had established the Office of Transitional Justice on December 17, 2020, with an intention of finding justice for cases of breaches and violations of fundamental freedoms and human rights spanning over 65 years.