The Government of Maldives has once again arbitrarily changed President Mohamed Nasheed’s prison arrangements. Late Monday night, President Nasheed was transferred by speed boat from Asseyri Jail at Himmafushi to a maximum-security prison in Maafushi. Neither his lawyers, nor his family were informed prior to his sudden transfer. President Nasheed’s lawyers note that despite their visit to Asseyri Jail on Monday afternoon, which was arranged by the Maldives Corrections Service, the Corrections department did not inform them of any arranged transfer for President Nasheed.
Minutes after the transfer, the sitting Minister of Home Affairs Umar Naseer in a tweet said “Mohamed Nasheed is now serving his sentence in the Special Protection Unit at Maafushi Prison” followed by “this is the special apartment constructed for him. He is with some of his in-mate friends”
Although the Home Minister has tweeted this information, the authorities have still not officially informed his lawyers and family about the transfer or details of the “in-mate friends.”
Within this week alone, President Nasheed has been arbitrarily transferred to two different islands and two different jails without his lawyers or his family being given prior notice. President Nasheed was arbitrarily transferred from Dhoonidhoo Detention Facility to Himmafushi Asseyri Jail on April 21. He was roomed with three other individuals.
The ‘Special Protection Unit’ in Maafushi Prison is located adjacent to the prison garbage dump and is highly unsanitary. The Human Rights Commission of the Maldives previously found the cell to be unfit for prisoners.
Since his transfer from Dhoonidhoo Detention Facility family visits and phone calls to family have been restricted. His family has not been able visit him as yet since the transfer.