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Gayoom’s family appeals for Ramadan release

Nasreena Ibrahim made the appeal in letters to the criminal court and prosecutor general, citing doctor’s recommendation for round-the-clock care for the 82-year-old former president.



The former first lady has appealed to the authorities to transfer her husband Maumoon Abdul Gayoom to house arrest for Ramadan, local media reported Wednesday.

Citing doctor’s recommendation for round-the-clock care for his ailing health, Nasreena Ibrahim made the appeal in letters to the criminal court’s chief judge and Prosecutor General Aishath Bisham.

The 82-year-old former strongman is suffering from a condition called Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) that causes dizziness and difficulty standing without assistance.

Gayoom could not fast and attend to Ramadan prayers and rituals on his own at the Dhoonidhoo detention centre, she wrote. The first lady has been allowed to regularly visit Gayoom at the nearby police detention island since his health worsened two weeks ago.

Gayoom is standing trial on a terrorism charge over an alleged coup attempt together with his son MP Faris Maumoon, son-in-law Mohamed Nadheem and several other high-profile defendants, including two Supreme Court justices.

Gayoom and the two top judges were also separately charged with obstruction of justice over their alleged refusal to hand over mobile phones.

They deny all charges.

Several pre-trial hearings in Gayoom’s cases have been cancelled due to his poor health. Earlier this week, his lawyer accused police of restricting family visits and contact “because of his ‘non-cooperation’ by being too ill to attend court yesterday.”

Police later claimed it was done by mistake and restored phone calls and visitation rights.

On Tuesday, Gayoom was brought to see an eye doctor at a private clinic in Malé.

He was arrested on February 5, hours after his half-brother President Abdulla Yameen invoked emergency powers in response to a Supreme Court order to release nine political prisoners.