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Prison audit commission's report careless, contains misinformation: HRCM

Shahudha Mohamed
30 May 2019, MVT 17:56
Minister of Home Affairs Imran Abdulla with some members of the prison audit commission. PHOTO: NISHAN ALI/MIHAARU
Shahudha Mohamed
30 May 2019, MVT 17:56

Human Rights Commission of the Maldives (HRCM) on Wednesday, criticised the report prepared by the prison audit commission, calling it a "careless report that contains misinformation".

Ministry of Home Affairs publicised the 290-page report on Tuesday, detailing the situations of prisons and detention centres all over Maldives. Moreover, the report shed light on the HRCM and National Integrity Commission's responsibilities and duties.

According to prison audit commission's report, complaints were lodged against HRCM for failing to deliver results after visiting prisons various times to collect information.

The document further stated that, according to reports from detainees and those in custody, there was no follow-up from the human rights watchdog over injury complaints, complaints about specific officers and issues regarding lack of access to healthcare.

Additionally, prison audit commission's report highlighted that HRCM's reports disclose that no acts of torture were proven against any individuals as per the investigations carried out by the commission's anti-torture section.

The statement released by HRCM following the prison audit commission's report declared that information about the commission's responsibilities, duties, anti-torture cases and efforts to ensure the rights of those under custody, were shared with prison audit commission. HRCM stated that much of this information was excluded in the recent report.

"We note that most of the suggestions by government authorities mentioned in the report are suggestions that HRCM submitted to these authorities numerous times, made efforts to implement, with efforts currently underway to implement them."

Human rights commission fell under disapproval in the past years for staying quiet about cases filed regarding the situations of prisons in Maldives. However, HRCM stirred back into action with the administrative change following 2018's presidential elections.

The commission decided to press charges against the relevant authorities regarding the death of Abdulla Rasheed who was serving time for his actions during the May Day protest organised by the then-opposition on May 1, 2015.

This is the first time during recent years that any authority sought to press charges in a case of an inmate's death.

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