Fourth man dies in Maldives riots

A fourth prisoner has died after rioting in the Maldives as its president of 25 years settles in to a new term at the helm.

    President Aumoon Abd al-Gayoom won a sixth term amid the violence

    Two prisoners died on Friday and Saturday while a third died Monday after admission to a hospital in Sri Lanka.

    The incident has resulted in the sacking of the police chief by President Aumoon Abd al-Gayoom, and the arrest of six more National Security Service (NSS) men, raising to 11 the total number of security personnel in detention over the killing of inmates at the Maafushi prison.

    Riots reportedly broke out after police tried to cover up the murder of an inmate by policemen at the prison.

    News of the inmate’s murder and secretive burial triggered unrest in the prison and protests in the capital city of Malé.

    Protests turned into riots however as mobs torched the elections office, the high court, several police stations and police vehicles and stoned other public buildings, including the nation's main international conference centre.

    "It is high time that government authorities accept their own responsibility and failure to protect and promote human rights"

    Amnesty International

    The latest death coincided with President al-Gayoom winning all 50 votes in parliament.

    He has secured a sixth five-year term to lead the tiny nation of 1192 coral islands, the most expensive tourist destination in the Indian Ocean.

    At least 12 inmates have been flown to neighbouring Sri Lanka with serious gunshot wounds.

    Maldivian authorities have stressed the unrest was unrelated to the re-election bid of al-Gayoom.

    But human rights’ group Amnesty International linked this week’s rioting to violations of human rights and the abuse of power by security officials.

    "By repeatedly dismissing reports of human rights violations in the country, the Government of President Gayoom has allowed perpetrators to continue to act with impunity."

    "It is high time that government authorities accept their own responsibility and failure to protect and promote human rights," Amnesty International said in a statement.

    SOURCE: Aljazeera + Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Trump's Middle East plan: Decoding a century of failed deals

    Trump's Middle East plan: Decoding a century of failed deals

    Al Jazeera read all 181 pages of 'the deal of the century', comparing its language with 100 years of failed agreements.

    We foreigners: What it means to be Bengali in India's Assam

    We foreigners: What it means to be Bengali in India's Assam

    As tensions over India's citizenship law shine a light on Assam, a writer explores the historical tensions in the state.

    Sentenced to death for blasphemy: Surviving Pakistan's death row

    Sentenced to death for blasphemy: Surviving Pakistan's death row

    The story of a man who spent 19 years awaiting execution reveals the power of a false blasphemy claim to destroy a life.