Inmates in Maafushi prison have petitioned President Dr Mohamed Waheed over poor conditions in the prison.
In the petition, the inmates stated that there were people in the prison sentenced to be incarcerated for more than 100 years, calling for the chance to reintegrate into society.
According to the petition, the inmates alleged they were being deprived from basic human rights guaranteed by the constitution, regulations made under the constitution and international treaties the Maldives had signed.
The inmates said that some of the cells were so small there was no space to kneel towards the Qibla during prayer time. They complained they had been able to perform Friday prayers for the past four years and had not been provided with healthy food and clean water.
According to the petition, the daily amount spent on food for each inmate had dropped from MVR95 (US$6.16) to just MVR35 (US$2.26).
The inmates called on Dr Waheed to take urgent measures to ensure food and clean water were provided in the cells.
‘’There are inmates who have serious medical conditions, who are advised by doctors to take medication accordingly, but the prison officers are not providing them the medical treatment as asked by the doctors,’’ the petition stated.
The inmates referred to one incident in which an inmate identified as Mohamed Ibrahim of Seenu Hithadhoo was refused medical treatment, which allegedly resulted in his appendix bursting inside his stomach while he was in the cell.
The petition also claimed that when inmates travelled to Male’ by sea, they were handcuffed to the back of the vessel with no prison officer on standby, which was against safety regulations.
The inmates also claimed that prison officers had banned inmates from marrying another inmate.
The inmates said they regretted remarks by former Home Minister Dr Mohamed Jameel alleging that inmates were homosexual, and alleged the banning of marriages in prison was intended to force inmates into homosexuality.
The petition called on the state to allow inmates to marrying inmates of the opposite sex ,and to fix issues the Maafushi Prison.
President’s Office Spokesperson Masood Imad told Minivan News that the office had not received the petition.