Govt strips Sheikh Imran's prison privileges over interview

Prison officials had stripped religiously conservative Adhaalath Party (AP) leader Sheikh Imran Abdulla's privileges over the interview he had given to opposition aligned Raajje TV, home minister Ahmed Azleen revealed Tuesday.

The religious conservative party’s leader was sentenced to 12 years of imprisonment on terrorism charges for inciting violence during a major opposition protest held in May 2015.

Maldives correctional service had transferred Imran to house arrest for Ramadan and had been taken back to prison after Eid.

However, before he was taken back to prison, Imran had given an interview to Raajje TV where he heavily criticized the government and urged the people to back the now opposition coalition's reform efforts.

During a program on government aligned Sun TV, the home minister said Imran had violated the conditions of his transfer to house arrest.

Azleen said he was disappointed by Imran's actions which according to the minister had forced the hand of prison officials.

Before he was transferred to house arrest, Imran had been in a cell in the special protection unit. But Imran was now in a unit with inmates convicted of serious crimes including murder, his family had said.

Imran's family had raised their concerns with the Human Rights Commission of Maldives (HRCM).