Prison officers “in a state of fear” following violence at Maafushi Prison

File photo of Maafushi Prison. (File Photo/Sun/Fayaz Moosa)

It has been reported that inmates at Maafushi Prison, following the violent confrontation between guards and inmates at the prison on June 20, have destroyed CCTV cameras installed at some of the prison units and have been threatening and harassing the guards.

Maldives Correctional Service reports that the original incident, which preceded the use of excessive force by guards on inmates, was an attack on a guard with an iron rod.

One guard and six inmates were injured in the original incident and the use of excessive force by guards.

A commander of Maldives Correctional Service’s Emergency Support Group (ESG) has been placed under suspension following the violence. The case remains under investigation, and Minister of Home Affairs, Sheikh Imran Abdulla personally visited the Maafushi Prison for an assessment of the situation last Saturday evening.

Reliable sources confirm all CCTV cameras installed at U2 of the prison were destroyed by inmates last Saturday evening. The sources also report that prison guards are being harassed by some of the inmates.

“The inmates have been causing difficulties in different ways. Hot water and water mixed with chili has been thrown at officers from some of the cells,” reported a prison guard at Maafushi Prison who asked to remain anonymous.

He said that the management at Maldives Correctional Service, following the incidents of June 20, took measures to protect inmates but have paid the rights of prison guards no attention.

Commissioner of Prisons, Abdulla Munaz himself confirmed that Maldives Correctional Service found weapons such as iron rods from the prison cells.

Another prison guard who spoke to ‘Sun’ under the condition of anonymity said some of the weapons have yet to be removed from the cells.

He said that some of the prison guards have outright refused to enter cells for fear they may be attacked.

“The inmates continue to issue death threats. Not much is being done in the way of controlling them,” he said.