Maldives Correctional Service (MCS) closed down Annex 1 of Male' Prison for repairs this week, due to its poor conditions.
The annex used to detain inmates who were elderly, or in need of longterm medical treatment or special needs, was emptied and closed down for repair last Monday.
The decision was made by Commissioner of Prisons Abdulla Munaz, who visited the prisons and declared Annex 1 unacceptable and unfit to protect human dignity. MCS added that Minister of Home Affairs Imran Abdulla also ordered to repair all areas in prisons that were in poor conditions.
According to MCS, the cells in Annex 1 were "iron cages" without proper ventilation, leading to high temperatures during the day. An increasing number of inmates also contracted skin conditions due to the lack of ventilation.
The annex will be renovated to internationally approved standards before its reopening, added MCS.
Annex 1 was initially used as a remand centre in 2003 for the temporary detention of inmates transferred to Male' from Maafushi Prison or those sentenced to exile. Annex 1 was transformed into a permanent detention complex after more cells were developed in 2006.