Commissioner Ahmed: Zero-tolerance towards prisoner abuse

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih appointed Ahmed Mohamed Fulhu who was previously the Inspector of Corrections to the post of Commissioner of Prisons on January 21, 2020. (Photo/Home Ministry)

The new commissioner of prisons Ahmed Mohamed Fulhu has stated that a zero-tolerance policy will be implemented against prisoner abuse and cruelty.

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih dismissed former Commissioner of Prisons Abdulla Munaz and appointed Ahmed Mohamed Fulhu who was previously the Inspector of Corrections to the post on January 21, 2020.

Speaking to the “Sun”, the new Commissioner stated that his emphasis would be on providing fundamental rights to prisoners and detainees as part of reforming the corrections system.

“My priority will be improving the fundamental rights of detainees and prisoners as soon as possible. This includes medical and issues of space. Some prisoners currently face difficulties in obtaining clothes and exercising. It is stated in the law that prisoners should be allowed to exercise for a period.” said Ahmed.

The Commissioner then noted that prisons are heavily understaffed and overcrowded with prisoners. He also noted that according to the law, prisoners must be detained.

“One of the main reasons for the issue is that prisons are overcrowded to the extent that the institution cannot manage,” said Commissioner Ahmed.

Work to create a strategic action plan to improve the institution and was also underway, according to the Commissioner. When questioned about prisoner abuse, the Commissioner replied that he had a zero-tolerance policy for such acts.

“Our stand is generally a zero-tolerance policy in acts of cruelty and abuse inside prisons. Cruelty and abuse inside prisons is something that is not acceptable at any level,” said Commissioner Ahmed.

Work to improve investigations into such claims will also be conducted according to Commissioner Ahmed. Such cases will be investigated as a serious matter by the disciplinary board and action will be taken against the wrongdoer, according to Commissioner Ahmed.

Some criticism and questions were raised when Ahmed was appointed to the role by President Solih regarding his lack of experience. Commissioner Ahmed stated that the decision was made after the president assessed everything regarding the appointment.

He also stated that it would not be correct to say that he has no experience. Even if he had not worked in a prison uniform, he noted that he had worked as an inspector of prisons while at the Human Rights Commission. The newly appointed Commissioner also highlighted the audit reports formed by him and his tenure as the Inspector of Corrections.

“God willing, I am sure that I can fulfill the responsibilities of this post to the best of my abilities,” said Ahmed Mohamed Fulhu.