A 20 year-old man from Hithadhoo died in police custody early Friday morning, after he and a 24 year-old man were arrested in a drug-related case.
Police Sub-Inspector Ahmed Shiyam said the two men were arrested in a hospital toilet on Veymandoo in Thaa Atoll, allegedly in possession of drugs, and confirmed that Abdulla Basith Zubair later died in custody.
Basith’s family, including his mother, brother and best friend, were fighting back tears as they explained they were in “deep shock”, but said they had to prepare for his body to be brought home. In Muslim tradition the dead must be buried the same day they die.
“It is really upsetting, I am in deep shock,” Basith’s friend said. “We are bringing the body home now. He was beaten by the cops because they say he had drugs. They say it was an overdose, but he was beaten black and blue. There is no justice for us. They will not investigate. I can’t believe my best friend is dead.”
Another second friend, who attended Hithadhoo school with Basith, said “This is very sad news, he was a very good person with a good heart. I am in shock. His friend saw everything, [Basith] was brutally beaten. It’s murder!”
Basith brother was busy arranging the funeral. Townsfolk were gathered outside the family home to pay respects to the young man.
Sub-Inspector Shiyam said police were investigating the incident. The Police Integrity Commission and the Human Rights Commission of the Maldives (HRCM) had been informed, he added.