HRCM: ‘Closed’ Annex 1 of Male’ Prison being used to hold detainees

Annex 1 of Male' Prison: The facility was deemed inadequate for human inhabitation and shut down for major renovations on April 15, 2019. (Photo/Maldives Correctional Service)

Annex 1 of Male’ Prison, which was officially closed down for repairs due to conditions deemed “inadequate for human inhabitation” on April 15, is being used to hold detainees for other purposes without any repairs, says Human Rights Commission of Maldives (HRCM) in a statement deemed as “misleading” by Maldives Correctional Service.

The observation was made during a follow-up visit by National Preventive Mechanism (NPM) of HRCM on April 24 and 25.

HRCM, in a statement it issued regarding the visit this Tuesday, said that the purpose of the follow-up visit had been to assess the extent to which recommendations it made following visits to the Male’ Prison in 2011, 2014 and 2017 have been implemented and to identify reasons for lack of implementation of its recommendations.

In a paper produced following its visit in April, HRCM expressed concern the cells at Annex 1 continued to be used to hold detainees “for other purposes”. Concern has also been expressed over the elderly detainees previously held at Annex 1 being transferred to Male’ Prison’s medical ward.

Other concerns highlighted in the paper includes:

  • Prison overcrowding
  • Lack of compliance with HRCM’s instructions to separate convicts from suspects, and separate detainees based on both seriousness and type of crime.
  • Long delays in arranging consultations with specialist doctors for inmates.
  • Large number of inmates with medical issues.
  • Large number of defendants held pending the outcome of trial, some for over seven years
  • Lack of mechanism for foreign inmates to communicate with family members and loved once even during times of disasters and states of emergency which affect their home countries.
  • Lack of yard time being awarded for inmates to exercise due to shortage of staff
  • Poor quality of meals


Maldives Correctional Service has issued a rebuttal declaring HRCM’s statement as misleading.

MCS says that it has stopped holding detainees at Annex 1. It said that it uses Annex 1 to hold detainees from Maafushi Prison who are transported to Male’ City for court hearing or a duration of one to one-and-a-half hours so it can arrange lunch for them before transporting them back to Maafushi Prison.