The United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD) has called on the Maldives government to immediately release jailed Adhaalath Party (AP) leader Sheikh Imran Abdulla.
After reviewing the case submitted to WGAD regarding Sheikh Imran’s 12-year prison sentence, WGAD’s report stated that he was jailed unjustly. The group said they had reviewed Sheikh Imran’s case in depth and stated that the Maldivian government had treated him in violation of international covenants and laws.
WGAD also called the Maldives government to compensate Sheikh Imran for the damage he received in the period of his imprisonment.
The Maldivian government has been given six months to respond to WGAD, to conduct an investigation on Sheikh Imran’s unjust treatment, and to implement WGAD’s recommendations.
WGAD also said they have referred the issue to UN’s Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment or punishment, the Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers, the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression and the Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association.
The case of the 12-year imprisonment sentence handed to Party leader Shiekh Imran Abdulla by the Criminal Court was filed with WGAD by Maldives Democracy Network (MDN). When the case was filed in 2016, members of WGAD arrived in Maldives and met with relevant government authorities regarding the case, and later published a report with all the facts gathered in relation to the case.
The AP leader was convicted of terrorism in relation to the 2015 May Day protest – the largest anti-government protest in the country’s history. Imran was held responsible for the events of that day and was sentenced to 12 years in prison on March 16, 2016.