Action to be taken against prison guards for excessive force on inmates

Minister of Home Affairs, Sheikh Imran Abdulla visits Maafushi Prison on June 22, 2019. (Photo/Ministry of Home Affairs)

Maldives Correctional Service has announced it has completed its investigation into the confrontation between guards and inmates at Maafushi Prison in June, and forwarded the case to the Disciplinary Board for action against the guards who used excessive force on inmates.

Maldives Correctional Service, in a statement this Thursday, said the case was initially investigated by the Use of Force Committee formed under Article 10 of Regulation of Use of Force by Prison Officers.

The Use of Force Committee found several prison guards had used excessive force during the confrontation.

Maldives Correctional Service says the case has now been sent to the Disciplinary Board for action against the guards in accordance with Article 45 of the Prisons and Parole Act.

Article 45 of the Prisons and Parole Act establishes that action for offenses by prison guards and inmates must be taken by the Disciplinary Board. And Article 45 (d) of Prisons and Parole Act establishes that a suspect may enter his/her personal testimony as well as other testimony and documents as evidence during the board’s investigation.

Maldives Correctional Service has also announced the suspension on the operation commander has now been lifted after the Disciplinary Board found no grounds to further sustain his suspension.

Violence erupted at Maafushi Prison on June 20 after a prison guard was assaulted by an inmate for refusing to smuggle in a contraband. A group of guards later used excessive force against inmates of cell block U2 which left six inmates injured.

The incident led to several more confrontations between guards and inmates lasting approximately one week.