Nazim’s selfie with his ‘jail buddies’ draws public ridicule

(From L-R) Ex-Dhiggaru MP Ahmed Nazim, ex-Defense Minister Tholhath Ibrahim, ex-Defense Minister Colonel(Retired) Mohamed Nazim, and current Minister of Home Affairs Imran Abdulla at Asseyri Prison in K. Himmafushi. (Twitter Photo/Ahmed Nazim)

A selfie posted by ex-MP Ahmed Nazim which shows him with Sheikh Imran Abdulla, Colonel (Retired) Mohamed Nazim and ex-Defense Minister Tholhath Ibrahim during their incarceration has drawn public criticism.

The picture shows the four politicians sitting on prayer mats in a green-painted room with at least two double beds, a clock, an ironing board, and a table with mineral water and other items on it.

Nazim, former Deputy Speaker of Parliament, posted the picture on Twitter to celebrate the decision by Supreme Court to overturn the prison sentence against him.

“Today, on my first day of freedom I would like to thank my family, friends and loyal constituents of Dhiggaru Dhaairaa. Also my jail buddies seen here. We suffered together and we were there for each other. Allah answered our prayers,” wrote Nazim, in the description.

He then posted the same picture again with the description “Our Sheikh, 2 military trained officers and & myself The Engineer. Locked and humiliated we were, but our fighting spirit never waned.”

The posts garnered immediate reactions. One Twitter user, @zariyand wrote “OH, Is that a Jail? Those beds and wall paints are better than my damn room. I wish to spend my retirement in such place. ????”

“So, this is your prison cell. More like a 5 [star] hotel. Aaand how did you get a phone.?” wrote another Twitter user, @Beel_Ahmed.

Several also noted that the prison accommodation seen in Nazim’s picture was in better condition than many of the rented apartments in Male’ City people were subjected to.

Twitter user @shiyalhey tagged Imran, who is now Minister of Home Affairs and said members of the general public who are imprisoned, especially suspects jailed for investigated were subjected to dire conditions. He appealed to Imran to use his authority to improve the conditions of jails, “because detention for investigation doesn’t necessarily mean guilt.”

Another Twitter user, @fahulavaanu wrote, “or you are allowed phones in prison? I wasn’t. And my cell block wasn’t as fancy.”

An official from Maldives Correctional Service who spoke to ‘Sun’ identified the location of the picture as Asseyri Prison at K. Himmafushi.

He said the four politicians were transferred there temporarily due to repair work on their cell blocks at Maafushi Prison.

The official said prisoners were not allowed to use personal phones inside prisons. And said prison officers confiscated a mobile phone from one of the four politicians, but did not say from whom.