Jailed former Vice President Ahmed Adeeb, who is serving a 33-year jail sentence on multiple counts of corruption and terrorism, penned the following open letter to the Maldivian people last week. The letter was shared through his lawyer after failing to secure permission to travel overseas for the treatment of glaucoma, kidney stones and internal cysts.
I convey my best wishes and greetings in the ongoing holy month of Ramadan to all Maldivian citizens.
It is not unclear to me what most Maldivian people think of me, Ahmed Adeeb Abdul Ghafoor of Henveiru Saamaraa. The Ahmed Adeeb Abdul Ghafoor that was portrayed to the public during my short political life was the result of many causes and circumstances. Every conviction and everything one hears does not necessarily have to be true. It is certainly not possible to reach a result by knowing part of the reality.
A year and a half are about to pass since I was convicted of criminal offences and began serving my jail sentences. This is the second Ramadan that I greet behind the bars of a prison cell. The reality that these bars have been teaching me is that what I saw as real was not reality. The good that I thought was good was not so. The teacher who taught me who friends, family, well-wishers are and what family relations are in its fullest meaning is the loneliness of this jail.
I have faced many health problems since my imprisonment. It was never my wish for my health issues and its details to be the topic of public discussion. No individual’s personal life should be open to a public auction. Nonetheless, I was forced to reveal the information because of my present state and because of how much I hope for help. The health problems I face include kidney stones, internal cysts and an ophthalmological condition known as glaucoma. The lack of adequate treatment for any of this and the worry over it is an additional burden.
I did not treat my close friends and family differently during my political life. I tried to the best of my ability to ease the burden of the people who found a place in my heart. I never attempted to cause harm to any of them. I have always wished them well and continue to do so. None of what I was able to do was done in the hope of reciprocity. To everyone is my good prayer.
It is my plea that you clear up the murkiness that many of you citizens have towards me in your hearts. I am certain that most of you will not advocate for discrimination in providing human rights. No matter what the alleged crime is, you will believe that human rights should not be denied. Neither will you believe that the punishment for any crime I am accused of committing is dying alone.
I did not remain silent during the long period that has passed because I was unconcerned about Maldivian politics. I see what is happening and going on. This is the first time I speak with the Maldivian people in this manner. It is my hope and prayer that this will not be the last. I have much to talk about with the Maldivian people. In consideration of the Maldivian political picture seen up to the present, I do not see anything that is ruined beyond repair or rebuilding. It only requires the hard work of the Maldivian people. I do not doubt the love of the Maldivian people for the Maldives.
My heart is pure for anyone who harbours ill towards me. For everyone who awaits my death, I wish a long life. My sincere thanks to all who wish and pray a speedy recovery for me. I wish peace and prosperity for the Maldives.