Dhoonidhoo inmates on hunger strike

Inmates at Dhoonidhoo Police Custodial have declared themselves on hunger strike, a person familiar with the matter told Minivan News.

‘’All inmates detained in Dhoonidhoo Police Custodial, except for foreigners, have declared themselves on hunger strike,’’ the source said on conditions of anonymity. ‘’Inmates have been continuously obstructed from obtaining their rights.’’

The source claimed that the main reason of the hunger strike was because of the ‘’spoiled food’’ that had been fed to the inmates recently.

‘’All the inmates felt ill after consuming the food they were brought the day before yesterday, and the inmates complained,’’ he said. ‘’A senior police officer met with the inmates and told them that the food’s quality had been decreasing due to the change in the dollar exchange rate and that the price of products was increasing.’’

He said the police had told the inmates that the budget allocated for inmates’ food was not increased after the dollar exchange rate was altered, and promised that police would try to solve the issue.

‘’The inmates have to be brought out for walking once every two days, now inmates are brought out to walk once every week,’’ he said. ‘’The inmates have not been provided with other essential things they need such as razors, towels, brush, tooth brush, soap. The authorities have said they do not have the budget to provide those things to Maldivians, but the foreigners in this detention centre get all of them.’’

The source said the inmates have said they will continue the hunger strike “until the police meet their demands”.

Inmates started the strike yesterday at 3:00pm, the source said.

A police spokesperson denied that such incident was taking place at Dhoonidhoo Police Custodial.

Dhoonidhoo is used to detain persons accused of committing crimes pending investigation, with prison sentences mostly carried out in Maafushi.