HRCM calls on authorities to ensure inmates are able to vote

The Human Rights Commission of the Maldives (HRCM) has issued a statement calling on authorities to ensure that inmates detained at state penitentiaries and police custody are able to vote during the presidential election.

The HRCM stated that the police, human rights and Gender Ministry as well as the Department of Penitentiary and Rehabilitation (DPRS) should complete the things they have to, in order to make sure all persons detained in their facilities are able to vote.

The commission said it had sent a letter to the Supreme Court to discuss the verdict regarding the issue.

On September 5, a source within the Maafushi Prison told Minivan News that more than 200 inmates were not registered to vote because they do not have national identity cards. The source claimed that inmates have to pay the prison department to renew their ID cards but that there are inmates in the cells who have no way to get money.

He said that inmates have contacted politicians and been told it is  the responsibility of the Home Ministry to make ID cards for all the inmates who do not have them.

The source also claimed that inmates have complained about both the Prison Department and the Home Ministry stealing the money the government had given them to get ID cards for inmates.