Assault Crime Human Rights

Prison officer attacked in Maafushi

An officer from Maldives Correctional Service has been assaulted by a group of men in K. Maafushi.

The assault comes after the violence at Maafushi Prison on June 20 which resulted in injuries to one prison guard and six inmates.

Commissioner of Prisons, Abdulla Munaz, who was questioned by Security and Bilateral Relations of the Parliament last Saturday evening, confirmed that guards at the prison, following an attack on a guard by an inmate, used excessive force on inmates and trimmed their hair.

‘Sun’ has been informed several prison guards have been receiving death threats following the clashes.

‘Sun’ has also been informed an officer at Maldives Correctional Service was assaulted by a group of approximately five men in Maafushi last Saturday night.

A media official from Maldives Correctional Service confirmed the agency has been informed of the assault. He said that it has not been confirmed whether the assault has any direct link to the violence at Maafushi Prison on June 20.

“We haven’t received much detail as the incident hasn’t been officially reported. But we have received information a prison officer was assaulted at the island [Maafushi] last night,” said the media official.

Pictures of the injured officer received by ‘Sun’ show him with a stitched laceration near his left eyebrow and swelling on other parts of his face.

Families of prison officers report they are in fear of their life and said that some even refused to report to duty this Sunday.

In response to questions by the Security and Bilateral Relations Committee last Saturday evening, Commissioner of Prisons, Munaz said that initial findings showed that the original incident which led to the violence from the prison guards was an attack on a guard by an inmate with a 16-inch iron rod.

“What happened was an inmate at a cell asked a guard to smuggle in contraband. The guard refused. [The inmate] Said this or that person doesn’t refuse. [The guard] Said he won’t. It seems he got angry and hit [the guard],” said Munaz.

Families of inmates’ report prison guards shackled the hands of inmates behind their backs, and used pepper spray on their genitals and beat them with batons.

Maldives Correctional Service denies the violence reached that level.

A commander of Maldives Correctional Service’s Emergency Support Group (ESG) has been suspended pending the outcome of the investigation into the incident. However, the guards who used excessive force on the inmates have yet to be officially identified.

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