Maldives contemplates releasing Indian inmates of ill health

Fazeena Ahmed, Haveeru Online
Jan 03, 2013 - 01:15 2 comments
  • Indians living in Maldives gathered in Thaajuddeen School for a function to celebrate a special Indian holiday. FILE PHOTO

Maldives Foreign Ministry on Thursday said the relevant authorities were engaged in efforts to finding a way within the contours of the law to release Indians detained in Maldives who are of ill health.

The government has constituted a committee to oversee the affairs of Indian prisoners in Maldives after the Indian government had requested their release.

State Foreign Minister Hassan Saeed insisted that the decision to transfer Indian prisoners with medical problems is yet to be made. As the request has been made by the Indian government to transfer Indian prisoners with medical problems jailed in Maldives to India, the Maldives will probe the cases of such inmates individually, according to Hassan.

Foreign Ministry revealed that currently 14 Indians are in Maldives prisons which include 13 men and a woman. Hassan added that 11 of the inmates were serving sentences for drug trafficking.

“As India has made the request, we will first asses each case individually. The cases will be reviewed by a committee constituted by the President,” Hassan said.

The committee will comprise of officials from the relevant Maldivian authorities. Hassan explained that a decision will be made after discussions with the relevant authorities based on the recommendations of the committee.

The Foreign Ministry also stressed that “it would not be easy” to release prisoners convicted of drug trafficking.

While India has tightened the free on arrival visa for Maldivians, India has put forward a list of requests to the Maldives government.

During a meeting with Indian High Commissioner to Maldives D M Mulay on December 20, he had listed several issues faced by Indians in Maldives.

The list handed by Mulay includes issues such as Indians having to return back over insufficient visa requirements, over stay, the excessive fine on visa breaches, dependent visa and the unlawful seizing of passports of Indians working in the Maldives by employers.

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