Ex-Maldives VP’s Life at Risk, Seeks Asylum in India: His Lawyer

MEA Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said Adeeb was not entering India through a designated entry point.

Updated02 Aug 2019, 12:07 PM IST
World
2 min read

A day after he arrived on Indian shores on a cargo vessel sans valid documents, the former Vice President of Maldives, Ahmed Adheeb Abdul Ghafoor on Friday, 2 August, continued to stay put in the ship and police authorities said they had no update on when he will leave for home.

A police official told news agency PTI that the Maldivian leader was still on the ship, that Central government agencies had been seized of the situation, and that district police, right now, had no update on the matter.

NO DOCUMENTS, NO INFORMATION AND NO VALID ENTRY POINT

“Dignitary who arrived on a vessel cannot de-board now since there was no information about him coming to India,” a top district police official had told PTI.

MEA Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said, on Thursday, that Adeeb also wasn’t entering India through a designated entry point.

“There are designated entry points through which foreigners are allowed entry into India. The entry is facilitated on the basis of appropriate valid travel documents,” he said.

“In the instant case, since he was not entering India through a designated entry point and did not possess the valid document, he has not been permitted entry into India.”
MEA Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar

The former vice president purportedly reached Indian shores from the Maldives on a barge named Virgo 9, that had travelled to the island nation to unload gravel and was on its return journey. The vessel in which Adeeb arrived had nine crew members, a police official said.

SEEKING ASYLUM IN INDIA, SAYS LAWYER

Former Maldives Vice President Ahmed Adeeb Abdul Ghafoor has sought political asylum from India as he faces a serious risk to his life in his home country, a UK lawyer from the firm representing the politician said on Friday, 2 August.

Toby Cadman, co-founder of Guernica 37 International Justice Chambers – the firm representing the politician in his bid for political asylum, called on the Indian government to uphold the asylum plea in accordance with international law.

“We remain deeply concerned that he could be returned to the Maldives where his life is at risk.”
Toby Cadman, co-founder, Guernica 37 International Justice Chambers

"He has made a plea for asylum and that should be upheld. I would strongly urge the Indian authorities to respect national law and its international obligations and provide the protection he requires," he said.

INVESTIGATION UNDERWAY

According to sources cited by the The Times of India, an investigation is underway to ascertain how Adeeb managed to board the ship, where he was going and whether he had received any help.

Shortly after becoming the vice president of the Maldives in 2015, Adeeb had been arrested and sacked over a bomb attack, allegedly targeting then President Abdullah Yameen. He had been handed a 15-year jail sentence in 2016.

(With inouts from The Times of India and PTI)

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Published: 01 Aug 2019, 12:46 PM IST
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