Legal Politics

Prisons authority threatens action against slander

The prisons authority has denied attempting to coerce Ahmed Adeeb’s family into giving consent for administering an injection to the jailed former vice president, condemning “false allegations” concerning the medical treatment of inmates.

The Maldives Correctional Services said in a statement Monday that inmates interact with doctors privately after consultations are arranged upon request.

“This service will not instruct doctors to prescribe a certain medicine or do anything particular to the person,” the MCS said. “And this service will not decide to give a certain injection or do a scan. All such matters will be decided by the inmate or the consulting doctor.”

Any suggestion to the contrary is “baseless and completely untrue,” the MCS said, adding that “legal action will be taken against those who spread falsehoods about this service.”

Adeeb’s family had said Sunday that the MCS’s push to give him an injection for a CT scan was “suspicious” because his lawyers were previously tipped off to an alleged assassination plot.

The CT scan was unrelated to a screening for cancer recommended by doctors in November 2015, the family said.

Without naming Adeeb, the MCS said hospitals require the family’s consent for some forms of treatment, stressing that neither the doctor nor the prisons authority would force the family to acquiesce.

The MCS also denied claims by Adeeb’s wife that it refused to share medical documents or arrange a meeting with doctors.

According to Adeeb’s family, the MCS asked his wife Maryam Nashwa to come to the Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital within half an hour to sign a consent form for the injection and threatened to cease arrangements for Adeeb’s medical care if she refused.

A week later, the prisons authority told her that Adeeb has agreed to get the injection. But the family later found out from Adeeb that this was untrue, which “raises questions about the intention of the [MCS].”

The MCS spokesman previously told local media that the allegations by Adeeb’s family were false because he was “not in our custody.” Adeeb was transferred to the police custodial centre in March.

But the police say the MCS is responsible for Adeeb’s healthcare.

The MCS is also under fire over the death of an inmate earlier this month. The family of the 51-year-old May Day protest detainee blames negligence by prison guards for his death.

The human rights watchdog has reportedly launched an inquiry into the seventh custodial death in two years.

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