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Home minister pledges to amend prison regulations

Mariyam Malsa
23 June 2019, MVT 09:11
Annex 1 of Male' Prison in capital Male City. PHOTO/MIHAARU
Mariyam Malsa
23 June 2019, MVT 09:11

Minister of Home Affairs Imran Abdulla, on Saturday, guaranteed to change prison regulations to prevent a repetition of events such as those which occurred on Thursday when Maldives Correctional Service (MSC) officers violently clamped down on unrest in Maafushi prison.

According to the statement, the government denounced the use of disproportionate force and violence against inmates.

Home Minister Imran also guaranteed to take action against the responsible MCS officers after the ongoing investigation into the issue concludes.

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.

MCS officially denied that such inhumane actions were committed.

However, the Home Minister previously asserted that several inmates were injured as a result of officers using disproportionate force to control the situation

Thursday's unrest reportedly resulted after some inmates requested the officer on duty to bring them an item from another cell. The inmates assaulted the officer when he refused to grant the request.

The injured officer sustained minor injuries and received medical treatment at Maafushi Health Centre and Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH) in the capital city of Male'.

The Home Minister stated that he had advised the Director of Prisons at Maafushi to provide medical assistance to the injured inmates.

Reports by the Jail Audit Commission formed by the current government, clearly state that inmates in Maldivian prisons are subjected to inhumane treatment. Despite a monthly government expenditure of MVR 15,000 per inmate, the report asserts that prisons are not suitable for human habitation.

Jail Audit Commission advised the government to change regulations concerning inmates as soon as possible and to strengthen management. The home ministry previously established a committee for this purpose.

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