Medical Council reviews May Day protestor’s death for medical negligence

Abdullah Rasheed Mohamed with Maldives Correctional Service officers

Abdullah Rasheed Mohamed with Maldives Correctional Service officers —

The Maldives Medical Council on Wednesday revealed that it will be investigating the doctor who treated the May Day protestor who died in custody, for negligence.

Earlier in the week, the Human Rights Commission of the Maldives (HRCM) and the National Integrity Commission (NIC) had also disclosed that they are probing the death of Abdullah Rasheed Mohamed, 51, who passed away at the state-run Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH) in Male early in October shortly after being brought to the capital for medical treatment.

He was one of the nine protestors who were convicted after the heated May Day rally in 2015, and last year, the Criminal Court had found Mohamed guilty of inciting violence and assaulting a law enforcement officer during the major protest.

According to the medical council’s president Dr Abdullah Afeef, the case was officially filed by the Maldivian Democracy Network (MDN). However, he said that the council was planning on investigating the matter on its own accord as well.

He assured that the council will conduct a thorough review of the case to see if Mohamed’s death was caused by medical negligence.

It was initially reported that Mohamed was only brought to Male for treatment after he had fainted in his cell and his cellmates had called out to the guards for help.

However, a prisoner who was at Maafushi Prison with Mohamed had recently disclosed new information regarding his condition and how he was treated in prison. According to him, Mohamed got ill with dysentery on October 9, and was administered with IV fluids.

The next day, despite the treatment, his condition had gotten worse and he started vomiting blood, the prisoner said. Some of Mohamed’s cellmates had called the guards, and after seeing the blood in the bathroom, he was again given medication, he claimed.

The prisoner at the scene with Mohamed said that the medication had done nothing to alleviate his pain even after hours. His cellmates had then talked over and decided to create a ruckus inside the cell to get the guards to pay more attention.

Mohamed’s family, as well as his cellmates claim that he was denied proper medical treatment in prison, despite him requesting to see a doctor several times.

Meanwhile, the HRCM on Monday – a week after Mohamed’s death – visited the Maafushi Prison for its own investigation in to his death.

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