Abdulla Rasheed's death: A vastly different reality from an investigative angle

Home Minister Imran Abdulla responds to questions at the Parliament on February 15, 2023. (Photo/People's Majlis)

Minister of Home Affairs Imran Abdulla, on Tuesday, stated that the events leading up to Abdulla Rasheed's death, who died in police custody in late October last year, look entirely different from an investigative angle. 

Minister Imran was questioned by Madaveli MP Hussain Firshan during Tuesday's parliamentary sitting whether officials from Home Ministry met with Abdulla Rasheed's family to provide them answers regarding his death. He also inquired whether any action has been taken against anyone in connection to the case.

Responding to the question, Minister Imran, underscoring the receipt of a report on the incident was obtained, said some meetings entailed in trajectory have been held. He further stated the question was irrelevant to the topic at hand at Tuesday's sitting. Minister Imran also admitted not being aware of the most recent updates on the case. 

Subsequently, MP Firushan accused the death of Abdulla Rasheed to have been due to negligence by Maldives Police Service. He added that the incident unfolded in front of his own eyes. 

In response, Minister Imran pointed out how onlookers perceived the situation was vastly different when the case was viewed from an investigative angle. 

"You all would have seen the events unfolded after the arrest. I cannot exactly state whether the earlier and later events are known to you. For example, the people observed five to ten minutes into his arrest. If the judgment made is solely based on that, I believe that that judgment will be wrong. It is a much bigger case. There are many other factors to the case," he said. 

Minister Imran, stressing the case was reviewed from both ends, said it was unideal to come to judgment based on scenes witnessed from the middle. 

Minister Imran also added that if the MP wanted, he can exactly lay out how the incident unfolded. 

Abdulla Rasheed, 43, was arrested in a counter-drug operation from a café near the harbor of GDh. Hoadedhdhoo at approximately 02:15 pm on October 25. The police hired a private speedboat to transport him to another island. He died en route.

The family alleges Abdulal Rasheed had repeatedly complained of chest pains when the police had him board the boat, and the officers there dismissed it as an act and denied him medical treatment.

Currently, his preliminary postmortem report is with the National Integrity Commission (NIC).

However, NIC has refused to disclose content from the preliminary report. Furthermore, they state they have yet to receive the detailed report. 

The commission said they are still working on obtaining all statements needed for their probe.