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News in brief: Lawmakers concerned over rising deco cases

Two expats acquitted on charges of covering up a murder.



Lawmakers on Tuesday unanimously accepted a motion without notice submitted by MP Abdulla Jabir to bring the rising number of fishermen suffering diving decompression sickness to the government’s attention.

Two fishermen who suffered decompression while diving for bait were airlifted to the capital from the Gaaf Dhaalu Thinadhoo regional hospital in the early hours of Tuesday. After treatment at the Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital in Malé, the 27-year-old and 39-year-old men have since been transferred to Bandos Island Resort to be put into decompression chambers. 

According to the early day motion – which opens the floor to an impromptu debate – most atolls are not equipped to treat diving-related emergencies but fishermen are forced to dive in search for bait fish. “Many Maldivian fishermen have lost their lives or have been disabled because of the inability of the government  to take any measures to stop these accidents,” Jabir’s motion read. 

“A fisherman from Gaafu Dhaalu atoll has been paralysed from half of his body because he could not get the necessary health care from Thinadhoo hospital,” it added.

The Thinadhoo hospital reportedly transferred six fishermen who suffered decompression sickness to Malé during the past six months.

Expats cleared of concealing murder

The criminal court acquitted two Bangladeshi men charged with concealing the murder of a 54-year old Maldivian man on Ihanvandhoo island.

Ismail Umar, a mechanic at the island’s ice plant, was found dead with multiple stab wounds in the factory’s restroom in June 2017. Three Bangladeshi migrant workers were arrested in connection with the murder. Sumon Mia was charged with murder and his friends Ikram Sheikh and Mohomed Milon were accused of helping him cover up the crime. 

But the prosecution did not submit sufficient evidence to prove Ikram and Mohamed were guilty, according to the verdict delivered earlier this month.

Sumon Mia’s murder trial is ongoing.

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