Former ruling party MP Ahmed Nazim has lodged a complaint with the human rights watchdog over alleged mistreatment by prisons officers in state custody.
Nazim’s family said the mistreatment occurred on July 12, soon after he was discharged from hospital where he had received treatment for back pain for five days.
The former MP was made to stand for three hours in a dirty holding cell in Malé, and was not provided with food to break his fast or diabetic medicine, the family said in a statement.
Nazim, a former close associate of President Abdulla Yameen, was sentenced to life in prison by the Supreme Court on corruption charges.
He was hospitalised for five days for back pain and numbness in his legs from July 7-12, during the month of Ramadan. Instead of returning him to Asseyri Jail on Himmafushi Island, he was detained in an 8ft by 12ft holding cell at the Malé jail for three hours on July 12, the family said in a statement.
The cell contained a six-foot long bed, with a thin metal sheet. “As lying on the bed only worsened the pain in his back, he was forced to stand for the three hours he was in the cell,” the statement read.
The family contends the treatment constituted psychological and physical torture.
The Human Rights Commission of the Maldives confirmed receiving the case.
The Supreme Court’s sentencing of Nazim was unexpected, as he had been cleared of corruption by the High Court and the Criminal Court.
The sentence came after then-tourism minister, now vice president Ahmed Adeeb, accused Nazim of attempting to defame him.
Nazim was found guilty of defrauding the state of MVR1.4 million (US $91,400) by submitting bids on behalf of non-existent companies to supply 15,000 national flags to the now-defunct atolls ministry.
Nazim had served as the deputy Speaker of Majlis from 2009 – 2014 and co-founded the now defunct People’s Alliance along with Yameen in August 2008.
Nazim was convicted shortly after former president Mohamed Nasheed, former defence ministers Mohamed Nazim and Tholhath Ibrahim were sentenced to jail on a variety of charges.
The government has been accused of mistreating political prisoners in custody.
Ex-defence minister Nazim was granted permission today seek medical treatment abroad for deteriorating eye sight.