A 52-year-old inmate at the Maafushi prison died in the early hours of Tuesday while undergoing treatment at the Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital in Malé.
Mohamed Badeeu, from the Henveiru Landhooge in the capital, was taken to IGMH on Monday afternoon, according to the Maldives Correctional Service.
The IGMH spokesman said the patient passed away around 3:15 am but declined to provide details about the cause of death.
The prisons authority spokesman said Badeeu was previously treated at IGMH for diabetes. “He had diabetes and was taken to IGMH at around 03:00 on Monday afternoon,” MCS spokesman Ahmed Luqman told the Maldives Independent.
The inmate was serving a sentence of 10 years and six months for theft, he said, adding that the prison term would have been served by 2021.
Five inmates died in custody during the past year.
In December, Ahmed Hassan, 55, was found dead by prison guards at the low-security Asseyri jail on the island of Himmafushi.
A 28-year-old man died in November while awaiting trial at the high-security Maafushi prison. Hussain Zareer died at IGMH nearly 24 hours after he was brought to the capital for medical care.
He was the third detainee to die while awaiting trial last year.
In September, a 57-year-old man died while being held in pre-trial detention at a remand centre in Malé. Adam Ali, detained on charges of child abuse, fainted and was rushed to the IGMH, where he was pronounced dead by doctors.
In late August, a 55-year-old man died en route to the hospital in Malé from the police remand facility on the island of Dhoonidhoo, ten minutes by speedboat from the capital.
Moosa Naeem was buried after the family decided not to ask for a postmortem.
The death prompted allegations on social media of Naseem being denied regular health checkups. He was reportedly taking medication for a heart disease.
The watchdog bodies, the Human Rights Commission and National Integrity Commission, launched inquiries at the time, but have yet to share findings with the public.
Other custodial deaths in recent years include the death of a 23-year-old who died of apparent natural causes at the Maafushi jail in May 2014. He had complained of chest pains before his death.
In 2014, Ibrahim Azar died from severe injuries inflicted by his cell mates. According to the prisons authority, Azar had requested to be transferred from his cell more than an hour before the assault.
Other high-profile custodial deaths include that of Hussain Solah, who was found dead in Malé’s lagoon in 2007, and of 19-year-old Evan Naseem, who was tortured to death by prison guards in 2003.
Evan’s murder triggered riots and fuelled a pro-democracy movement that unseated former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom after 30 years in power.