Alhan may not be able to walk, say MP’s family

Opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) MP Alhan Fahmy may not be able to walk due to injuries sustained to the spine in Saturday’s stab attack, his family have said.

“The spine was damaged quite a bit. The wound was very deep and 2 inches in length. Doctors say they are hopeless. He may improve with physiotherapy,” Alhan’s brother Azban Fahmy told local media.

The global organisation of parliaments, the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), has meanwhile condemned the attack and called for an end to violence ahead of next month’s parliamentary elections.

“The attack is the latest act of violence against an MP in a country where many parliamentarians have been victim of arbitrary arrests, attacks and intimidation in recent years.  This includes the murder of MP Afrasheem Ali in October 2012,” the IPU said.

Alhan’s condition is still serious and doctors have not detected any movement in Alhan’s right leg.

“Doctors have told us the knife attack on Alhan was a murder attempt. [They said] we have to be grateful he is alive,” Azbaan said.

Alhan was stabbed in public on Saturday night (February 1) while he was at a café in Malé. He was flown to Sri Lanka a few hours later before undergoing surgery on Sunday.

Alhan’s family intends to consult other doctors and hopes he will improve with physiotherapy, Azban said.

The Maldives National Defense Forces provides security to MPs on request. But Alhan had not asked for bodyguards as he had not received any threats in the past two weeks, his family has said, though they did note that Alhan had received death threats previously.

The IPU said the organisation’s committee on human rights is currently working on cases involving human rights violations of nearly 25 Maldivian MPs.

“The organization is also urging all political sides to remain calm and for full protection to be given to MPs to ensure the elections are conducted peacefully,” the IPU statement said.

The MDP has said they believe the attack on Alhan was premeditated and politically motivated.

Speaking on the issue in parliament yesterday, MPs blamed powerful individuals behind gangs for the stabbing and expressed concern over the apparent impunity enjoyed by criminal gangs responsible for such attacks.

The police initially arrested three men in relation to the attack, but have released Mohamed Kinanath Ahmed on Monday. The police have declined to provide details of the two men in custody.