Man remanded to custody at Malé jail dies

Prisoners in Dhoonidhoo jail | Photo: Avas

Malé, Maldives – Prosecutor General’s Office (PGO), today, stated that the office is investigating the death of man remanded to custody pending trial.

Ismail Shabeen (46), M. Malas, was taken to the IGMH Emergency at 19:00 on Tuesday following breathing difficulties. The Maldivian male was transferred to the IGMH ICU after his status deteriorated. Shabeen passed away half an hour after he was taken to the hospital at 19:30.

Maldives Correctional Services state that the relevant authorities, Inspector of Correctional Service, Maldives Police Service, and the Human Rights Commission of the Maldives were immediately alerted to the detainee’s death.

While PGO launched a probe into Shabeen’s death, the deceased has remained in custody pending the outcome of trial since 2019 and his trial remains in the preliminary stages.

Local news Dhauru reports that Shabeen has been detained since 2019 despite appeals by the family to change the deceased to house arrest citing health reasons on 4 October 2020.

Maldives Corrections informs that the individual had been charged with multiple accounts of drug-related charges including abuse, possession and sale of drugs.

In September 2021, Amnesty International alerted the Maldives to allegations of torture and other ill-treatment in Maldives prisons, as well as overcrowding and inadequate medical care and urged the authorities to address these issues.