HRCM launches investigation into allegations of police brutality against minors

The Human Rights Commission of the Maldives (HRCM) has begun investigating a case of alleged brutality and torture by police during the arrest of two minors.

“While I can confirm that such an investigation has been launched, we cannot reveal much details yet as the investigation is just in its beginning stages,” HRCM Member Jeehan Mahmoodh told Minivan News today.

Police have responded by saying that they are not aware of the case to which the HRCM is referring.

Jeehan stated that the commission had received the related complaint in the early hours of Thursday, December 5. According to her, the commission has sent an investigation team to meet with the victims within 24 hours of their arrest.

“We have observed that there are violations of some extent and are conducting investigations to identify the exact nature and level of the violations. Both the minors are male, and are of 15 and 16 years of age,” she said.

Jeehan further confirmed that both minors remain in custody, following an extension of their sentences.

“No idea who the HRCM is referring to”: Police

Police Media Official responded that they do not know which case or which detainees the HRCM is referring to, stating that they had not received any inquiries about the matter from the commission to date.

“I have no idea who the HRCM is referring to in these allegations, or which case they are speaking of. We have not received any complaints of ill-treatment or torture from any detained persons. Hearing about this issue, I have called up a number of authorities last night, and yet no one has been able to confirm which case is being referred to here,” the official stated.

“While the HRCM says they have attended the case within 24 hours of the arrest being made, this is still not enough information for us to identify the case in question. Within those 24 hours, we have brought multiple minors under arrest, some of these are even from distant atolls,” the media official explained.

“The HRCM is permitted to visit any detainees at any time, and I suppose that is what they are doing, and it is they who will probably release reports on the matter. So far, the commission has neither contacted us about the issue, asked for clarifications, nor made any inquiries,” he said.

Police Integrity Commission’s Secretary General Fathimath Sareera was not responding to calls at the time of press.