A 55-year-old man who died in police custody Tuesday morning has been buried this afternoon after his family decided not to conduct a postmortem.
Moosa Naseem died en route to the hospital in Malé from a police remand facility on the island of Dhoonidhoo, ten minutes by speedboat from the capital. A police spokesman said yesterday that the body was kept at the mortuary in case an autopsy might be required.
Local media reported that the family decided not to ask for a postmortem.
But a family member told The Maldives Independent today on the condition of anonymity: “At no point have we suggested or entertained the idea of a postmortem.”
The custodial death has prompted allegations on social media of Naseem being denied regular health checkups. He was reportedly taking medication for heart disease.
The police have declined to reveal details of Naeem’s health or why he was arrested. According to newspaper Mihaaru, the businessman was arrested last July on a drug smuggling charge.
The watchdog bodies, Human Rights Commission and National Integrity Commission, have launched inquiries into Naseem’s death.
Recent custodial deaths in Maldives 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 Maldives Correctional Services, 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 Maldives’ strongman Maumoon Abdul Gayoom after 30 years in power.