Three prison guards convicted over Maafushi riot shooting sent back to prison

Three former prison guards sentenced to death by the former administration for shooting at inmates during a prison riot in 2003 have been returned to jail after they were found to be living at large.

Police Sub-Inspector Ahmed Shiyam confirmed that police had received reports that those found guilty were at large and had been handed over to the Department of Penitentiary and Rehabilitation Services (DPRS). He referred Minivan News to the Home Ministry for further information.

Home Minister Hassan Afeef referred Minivan News to the DPRS, while the DPRS referred Minivan News to State Home Minister Mohamed Naeem.

Naeem told Minivan News that the relevant documents showed that 12 of the 13 found guilty were sentenced to death, but former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, using Presidential privileges, had commuted their sentence to a 25 year imprisonment.

‘’The 13th person was the head of the prison – he was found guilty but was granted clemency by the High Court, which was allowed according to the then blue constitution,’’ said Naeem. ‘’It was unfair, and violated the rights of many. How come the former President could grant clemency to the head of prisons who ordered the shooting, but imprisoned the officers who did the shooting?’’

Naeem said the documents at the Home Ministry showed that the 12 officers were at first kept in Maafushi Prison until the new prison head sent a letter to the-then Home Minister Ahmed Thasmeen Ali – now the leader of the opposition – that it was unsafe for the 12 to be among the other inmates.

‘’They were then transferred to Dhoonidhoo Prison, and after two months again a letter was sent to Thasmeen from the then Deputy Police Commission saying that there was no lawful grounds for keeping convicts in Dhoonidhoo to implement verdicts,’’ he said. ‘’And that was the end of the document trail. We do not know what Thasmeen said in reply, or how they managed to stay at large.’’

Thasmeen did not respond to Minivan News at time of press.

Naeem said he regretted that the Home Ministry was obliged to send the convicted officers back to prison after such a long time.

‘’They have wives, kids and families, but this had to happen because of the former administration. If they had not freed them from prison, by now they would have served most of their sentence and could have even possibly apply for clemency,’’ Naeem said. ‘’But there is no other choice – it is our legal responsibility to implement verdicts, whoever it is.’’

Naeem said the action of the former administration had not only violated the rights of those found guilty, but also those of the victims.

‘’When the victims who survived that time see these convicted people roaming around the streets, how do they feel? It is unfair for them,’’ he said.


13 thoughts on “Three prison guards convicted over Maafushi riot shooting sent back to prison”

  1. How about the hardcore serial killers and criminals roaming around in the country?

    Dont you guys have an obligation to keep them behind bars?

    Naeem your a moron!

    Freaking clowns dressed in blue and yellow is gona bring this country to it's knees with on-going social and political turmoil!!

    Mr Naeem, Instead of playing the blame game, why dont you focus on the current state of affairs!!

    For gods sake people, wake up!!!

    "Divide and Conquer"
    This the tactics these dirty old politicians use!!

    And im afraid they have succeeded in destroying the strong unity which we proudly shared between us!!

    We are all brothers and sisters, so find it in your heart the courage to forgive all the wrong doings of others towards you!
    If not the cycle of violence and chaos will lead us all to an early grave!!

    This is madness people!

  2. Most Maldivian's seen to think that once a person is put into jail, they deserve what they get. However, they are also human's and yes, some people are murderers and what not....the court can condemn to death. But its their right as judges to do so.... the guards at the jail got no right what so ever to torture the inmates.
    And if the guards tortured and killed inmates, then action should be taken against them as well. Just because they wear a blue uniform does not give the right to abuse their power. They are paid by the people of Maldives to do their respective jobs, not harass the people.
    Don't blame the government for doing their job. one step at a time. If the current government has abused their power, I am sure the next party who comes to power would take action against them as well... so it goes both ways.

  3. Allabeyya! Allabeyya! Kerandi!
    Allabeyya! Allabeyya! Adam's apple!

    Some can get choked on this!!!!

    Apparently Mr. Gayyom have been sending letters (perhaps using the stamp he ..... when he left office) to leaders of nations stating that he had done no wrong to no one and that within two years of President Nasheed's rule not a single shred of evidence have been found to pin him down!

    Well! Well! Well!

    I am sure when peoples are being wronged this large, shreds of evidence can be and will be found even if they are left to roam or surf even this large?

    Wonder what the wonder lawyers will have up their sleeves to prove this innocence?

  4. ok, so how about justice for the 19 maldivians shot by the sri lankan merceneraies paid for by some power hungry maldivians in 1987. what does Mr. Naseem have to say to that?

  5. @Shutter has life saving wisdom.

    Yes, of course, justice must be pursued. The killers, torturers should be imprisoned or punished.

    However, there is a very fine line between justice and vengeance, yet the pursuit of vengeance as opposed to justice creates endless darkness.

    I believe that for justice to be truly JUST, it has to be rooted in a sense of the sancity of all life. The Creator does not create trash to be discarded, man was made in the Divine Image, and beneath all the scars each of us carry because of our natural inclination to be moved by our 'naffs' (our selfish selves) we are all beautiful and sacred to our Creator, even murderers.

    So punishment should be, essentially, restoring a human being to his pure self, and so, if we flog, kill or jail a murderer, we should express our anger with them, but also, be ready to accept that they have a good side which will be revealed in either later life, or an after life. This way, our hearts can be liberated from the disease of hatred and the addiction gained to the process of vengeance. This will determine whether a culture of justice or a culture of vengeance is created.

    As soldiers who have killed will tell you, killing, massacring, torturing gets one on an extreme high, it is like a massive hit of amphetamine, or cocaine.

    Yet, the correct response, in giving a person his just desserts, is sorrow for the fact that they, once a pure soul, had been corrupted to this point of becoming a murderer.

    In crushing one who gets a kick out of hurting others, if we simply harm them, without their understanding the pain and sorrow they caused, they will simply seek vengeance. If however, in being punished, they are being taught that this is the pain they inflicted upon one who was sacred, and a Mother's Son or daughter, and if the pain of the family is expressed to them, and the essential goodness of the family, then their punishment will teach them empathy.

    Something more important. Temper your anger with QISAS. (Equity)

    Remember, justice should not be over the top, don't take out two eyes for one.

    This is because, at the end of the day, we are ALL criminals and selfish human beings deepm down, and the best of us are still selfish criminals but just, thanks only to the Rahman of Allah, have had a few victories over their selfish selves.

    To be a just nation, Maldivians have to become a Just people. The first thing to do to get justice, is to learn and admit your own faults, take full responsibility for them, don't try to blame others, be sorry, and commit your life to a life long struggle against your own inward evil, admitting that you will have victories, and you will have losses.

    Only in a place of humilty, knowing that we also would have been murderers if we thought we could get away with it at some stage, with this admission only can we have the state of mind sober enough to temper vengeance with equity, or else, in self righteouss, deluded, self deceived rage we will take out two eyes for one and keep the cycle going.

  6. I meant, to get true justice, we have to be just people, and to be just people, we have to live a life long struggle of getting justice against our own unjsut selves. We have to give justice to ourselves, perpetually, if we are ever going to be capable of giving others justice.

  7. MDP sure knows how to play games. Its amazing you put those people from past back behind bars while your government has been releasing every dangerous climinal and thug back into the society every other day. Our society has become a place of horror and danger because of all these thugs and gangs roaming around in the city doing all sorts of crimes and yet the MDP is busy getting back to DRP in one or another way. Where is our right here when we cant walk safely on our roads in the night and day when you are so much interested in rights of the people and prison guards... something which happened long time ago. What about the present minister????

  8. Be careful when you pray for Justice, in case you might just get it!

    All Dictators became dictators fighting for a genuinely good cause believe it or not(we can all paint ourselves as the self righteouss oppressed if we want, and can all use that to justify our own will to power...)

    Maumoon went to jail for struggling against Nasir, etc...etc..

    Yet, a leader becomes a dictator when that leader fails to realise that they are also deep down murderers, power hungry.

    Politics is all based on lies, deceipt, on self righteouss propaganda. There are no Saints, there are no great Holy Revolutionists who are perfect.

    This is not meant to inspire moral despair, amorality, and then, hedonistic power hunger as the only genuine way to live, as their is a right and a wrong.

    Yet, to be a good leader, one has to admit, to their trusted ones, their own faults, and embrace a struggle against their own faults for the rest of their lives.

    And just to prove that only God is God, if a person has so many victories that they become consumed with self, Allah may take his Mercy and Power from a person for a second, and they, the Saint, would become a murdereous dictator in a second.

    Humility and recognition of one's own faults helps, and recognition that one is only good at times due to the Mercy of the Divine's help, is the remedy for one doing justice with equity. Otherwise, one does justice with vengeance, and creates a masive desire for vengeance, the cycle.

    I only trust a leader who admits, takes full responsibility for their own faults.

    So, I hope to see President Nasheed doing this before taking justice for these crimes.

  9. I agree with the comment regarding Revenge being confused with Justice (and vice versa).

    As my late grandfather once told me: "Before embarking on a journey of revenge, always dig two graves".

  10. I'm here for Mr. Ben Plewright's inspirational and insightful words.

    "And just to prove that only God is God, if a person has so many victories that they become consumed with self, Allah may take his Mercy and Power from a person for a second, and they, the Saint, would become a murdereous dictator in a second."

    Astounding! That explains everything!

  11. @Rannamaari: Awesome man your Grandfather was wise as, that is excellent...

    Can somebody please give Avatar a little bit of encouragement, he is really really in need of it these days.

    Poor soul...

  12. Give another 10 years and Nasheed would evolve into Mugabe....but one thing sure Nasheed will not step down after 2 terms.

  13. A dictator indeed is a dictator. Qayyoom is no exception.Don't try to make him a hero. Maldivian history will surely do justice to the brutal regime of Gayyoom.


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