Updated: May 5, 2020
THE FORMER VICE-PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF MALDIVES, AHMED ADEEB ABDUL GHAFOOR, SEEKS POLITICAL ASYLUM IN THE REPUBLIC OF INDIA AFTER FLEEING THE MALDIVES IN FEAR OF HIS LIFE.
LONDON, 1 August 2019 – The International Legal Team instructed by Mr. Ahmed Adeeb Abdul Ghafoor, issued the following statement in response to inaccurate reports in the media that the former Vice-President has been arrested in India after having fled the Maldives. The International Legal Team confirms that it has today initiated contact with the UN Office of the High Commission for Refugees and the UN Office of the High Commission for Human Rights.
The former Vice-President of the Republic of Maldives, Mr. Ahmed Adeeb Abdul Ghafoor, has today sought the protection of India and has initiated the process of claiming asylum, having been subjected to a series of politically motivated prosecutions, and attempts to coerce him into making false statements by the Maldives Security Services.
Ahmed Adeeb served as the Vice-President of the Maldives for a short period in 2015, previously holding the position of Minister of Tourism, Arts, and Culture.
Upon falling out of favour with the then President Abdulla Yameen, the former Vice-President was investigated in connection with an alleged bomb plot to assassinate Yameen, and thereafter, various allegations of corruption, resulting in him being imprisoned for a period of 3 years, despite him denying all offences.
Adeeb was released from prison at the end of 2018, the Supreme Court acquitting him of all offences earlier in 2019, citing the clear political influence exercised over the trials.
Despite being acquitted, Adeeb has remained under house arrest following an appeal being lodged by the Prosecutor General against that acquittal.
It is of particular concern that following this the authorities forced him to sign an agreement with a clause that he could only receive necessary medical treatment if he signed the agreement.
During this period, Adeeb has still been subject to overt political influence, with the Maldivian Security Services seeking to coerce him into signing documents that would amount to a false admission of guilt and put his life and the life of members of his family in danger.
Accordingly, there is a very real and demonstrable risk that his fundamental rights and freedoms will be violated, Adeeb is at risk of becoming a victim of a politically motivated justice system.
Therefore, Adeeb has sought asylum in a safe country, namely India.
Having claimed asylum, India are reminded that they must consider that claim in accordance with relevant national and international rules, he cannot simply be returned to the Maldives, regardless of any relationship the two states may have.
An individual’s rights and freedoms are at the forefront of any decision, political, diplomatic, or any other interests are not for consideration.
We therefore call upon the Government of India to consider the application in an appropriate manner and offer Adeeb protection whilst his claim is under review.
We further call upon the UN Office of the High Commission for Refugees to act with diligence in considering his application and we call upon the UN Office of the High Commission for Human Rights to ensure that his rights are protected.