Home Minister Umar Naseer revealed today jailed former President Mohamed Nasheed’s medical condition, prompting an outcry on social media over the release of confidential information.
Naseer said the doctor had recommended Nasheed undergo a micro-discectomy of the L4-5 discs or the lowest discs of the backbone, and said the procedure is available in the Maldives.
The opposition leader’s family has requested the government to allow him to travel abroad for the surgery. The injury was caused by torture during Nasheed’s imprisonment during former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom’s regime, lawyers said at a press conference yesterday.
Naseer, in his tweet, said the Maldives Correctional Services would seek a second opinion on the matter.
Dr. has recommended an L4-5 Microdiscectory for RN, a procedure, that is available in the Maldives. However, MCS will seek a second opinion.
— Umar Naseer (@UmarNaseerPPM) December 8, 2015
Hisaan Hussein, a lawyer who represents Nasheed, said only those authorised by the patient could reveal confidential medical information. “Just because Naseer had access to the medical report does not mean he can reveal information there.”
In a press release, lawyers yesterday also said Nasheed required a micro-discectomy, but did not reveal the location of the injury. The surgery is done to relieve pressure on nerves from slipped discs.
“We are authorised by President Nasheed to reveal information, the home minister is not. We have not even received his latest medical reports,” Hisaan added.
Nasheed was brought to the ADK hospital in Malé for a consultation with a neurosurgeon on Sunday.
Naseer’s tweet has sparked outrage on social media, with the former president’s family members and supporters saying the home minister has no right to reveal private information.
@UmarNaseerPPM Since when did you get the rights to make medical records public of people under detention?. What did I say about trust?
— Nash (@i_nashid) December 8, 2015
@UmarNaseerPPM is this disclosed on social media with his permission? This is a medical diagnosis.
— Nashsat (@Nashsat) December 8, 2015
Would it also be possible to disclose how/if Pres Nasheed authorised Govt to disclose his medical condition? @UmarNaseerPPM
— Eva Abdulla (@evattey) December 8, 2015
@UmarNaseerPPM you are not sharing his medical reports with family but putting it out on social media? It's supposed to be confidential
— Munshid (@dyingregime) December 8, 2015
Nasheed was jailed on a terrorism charge in March. He was briefly transferred to house arrest in June, but re-imprisoned in August.
A UN human rights panel has ruled his detention illegal and arbitrary, but the government has rejected the opinion.
An appeal of Nasheed’s terrorism conviction is before the Supreme Court now.