Former inmate of Maafushi prison, Ibrahim Azar, who suffered severe injuries during a fight in his cell has died while receiving treatment.
Local media has reported that Azar died at Ananthapuri Hospital in India at 12:15 p.m. local time, quoting members of the deceased family.
The injuries were sustained on February 24 during after being attacked by his two cell mates. According to a report on the incident at the prison shared by the Maldives Correctional Services (MCS), Azar had requested to be transferred from his cell more than an hour before the assault.
Azar – of Maafannu Dhodhilge – was brought to Malé after the incident with serious head injuries, although police were said to have assured his mother at the time that his injuries were not serious. He was serving a five year drug abuse sentence.
A source familiar with the matter has previously told Minivan News that Azar’s cell mates attacked him using a razor blade. He received multiple wounds to his body, and his head was allegedly banged against the cell wall or the metal fence.
However, officials from the MCS had denied that any “sharp objects” were used in the assault when asked by MPs at a Majlis oversight committee meeting.
Following the incident, Azar was taken to Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital, who recommended he be flown to an international hospital for specialist treatment.
Local media CNM has reported that Azar will be buried this afternoon after Asru prayers.
The correctional services said that they were unaware of the reports of Azar’s death at the time of publishing.
Azar made request to move cells before the fight
According to the one-page MCS report, on February 24, Prison Corporal Mohamed Mujthaba, the ranking duty officer at the time of the incident, was informed by guards of unrest in cell number 12 of unit three, wing one, at about 5:25pm.
Mujthaba questioned the prisoners and was asked by two of the three inmates in cell 12 – Ali Ashwan of Ma. Oasis Villa and Azar – to be transferred to a different cell.
“However, when [the inmates] were asked to explain the reason for wanting to change cells, they refused to do so until they were taken out of the cell,” the report revealed.
At about 6:00pm, the report stated, instructions were given to transfer the inmates, but the third inmate in cell 12 – Ahmed Liushan, also from Ma. Oasis Villa – obstructed prison guards who attempted to take the other inmates out of the cell.
At about 6:50pm, Mujthaba and Emergency Support Group officers made their way to the cell upon hearing a commotion from the unit – finding the “severely beaten” Azar inside.
The source familiar with the matter had told Minivan News that Azar was attacked by his cell mates after calling prison officers when a fight broke out between two of his cell mates on February 24.
“Azar was kept in A-B/Unit-3 of Maafushi Prison with two other inmates, and that day the two inmates had an issue and started fighting,’’ the source said.
“Azar called the prison officers and the prison officers talked to the two that were fighting and resolved the issue – but as soon as the prison officer left they started fighting again.’’
“It repeated three times, and after the fourth time prison officers were called Azar was attacked by his two cell mates,’’ the source said.