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Prison officers accused of violence against inmates

Mariyam Malsa
22 June 2019, MVT 09:42
Maafushi Detention Centre. PHOTO: MIHAARU FILES
Mariyam Malsa
22 June 2019, MVT 09:42

Maldives Correctional Service (MCS) officers stationed in Maafushi Prison were accused of beating inmates during an altercation that occurred on Thursday.

According to local media outlet Mihaaru, five inmates were taken out from two cells, handcuffed, forced to the ground and beaten with batons. The officers also pepper sprayed the inmates' genital areas and shaved their heads.

Two additional inmates in another cell also had their heads shaved following a disagreement which arose while an 18-year-old inmate, recently transferred to Maafushi, was being moved to a different cell. The other inmate involved was a Bangladeshi national who is under detention until the conclusion of a murder investigation.

MCS officially denied the accusations and asserted that no inmates had their heads shaven.

An anonymous source claimed that officers had also entered cells and ripped the inmates' clothing. Allegedly, some inmates were not given access to medical treatment after the incident.

Furthermore, the source stated that around 30 officers from the Emergency Special Group (ESG) arrived at the scene.

The incident reportedly occurred after some inmates requested the officer on duty to bring them an item from another cell. The officer refused to grant the request.

MCS issued a statement revealing that an officer was assaulted with a weapon during what was described as a minor incident. Corrections assured that the metal rod used as a weapon was confiscated and that the internal situation in the prison had returned to normal.

The officer in question sustained minor injuries to the arms and legs. He was released from Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital at approximately 10 00 hrs on Friday after receiving treatment.

Minister of Home Affairs Imran Abdulla stated that MSC used an excessive and disproportionate level of force to control the situation in Maafushi Prison.

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