Maldivian prisoners in foreign jails cannot be transferred home due to lack of proper laws

Eleven Maldivian citizens are currently serving prison sentences in foreign countries because the Maldives lacks the proper laws to transfer them back home, local media has reported.

An official from the Foreign Ministry was quoted in local media as saying that the Ministry is “gravely concerned” about the number of people detained in foreign jails, and that it is working on transferring them to jails in the Maldives.

The official stated that a prisoner transfer agreement had been signed with Sri Lanka and India, however the lack of proper laws in regard to prisoner transfer made the process difficult.

“We have worked hard for such a law. It is however, a thing for the Attorney General. We can send away the foreigners in our jails, but to transfer a Maldivian to Maldives, we lack the proper law on how the person may carry out the sentence.

“There are numerous people who we have not been able to transfer because of the lack of such a law. If not, we can transfer them to Maldives,” the official was quoted as saying in Sun Online.

The foreign Ministry, as reported by local media, said that Maldivian prisoners are currently in jails in Syria, Italy, Sri Lanka for drug related cases, one in a Hong Kong prison in relation to a murder case, one in Chennai for an unknown reason and two people arrested in Trivadndrum on drug charges.