Police negligence responsible for death in custody, says PIC

The Police Integrity Commission (PIC) have ruled that the Maldives Police Services was responsible for the death of Ibrahim Afzal, who self-immolated while in custody at Gahdhoo police station in Gaafu Dhaalu Atoll.

Afzal died after pouring petrol over his body and lighting it, police claimed. The PIC said there was no evidence to suggest that police tortured him or set fire to him.

However, as Afzal died while in police custody, police were responsible for him the commission said, making the case one of negligence.

The commission also noted that there was no adequate place in Gahdhoo police station for holding suspects in custody.

The PIC has now sent the case to the Prosecutor General to determine whether a criminal case should be raised against concerned persons.

Police Sub-Inspector Ahmed Shiyam said that police would accept the responsibilities expected of them.


Family of man who self-immolated in custody decide to bury body

The family of the man who died in police custody have decided to bury his body after keeping him for four days for investigation.

The man set himself ablaze after pouring petrol onto his body from a bottle stored in the police station, suffering severe burns. He was transferred to Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH) but died during treatment on Saturday. However, a member of his family claimed he was tortured in police custody.

Today a family member of the man told Minivan News that the body was buried today Asru prayers.

”We decided not to do the postmortem examination of the body, and besides it’s not very good to keep a dead body without burying,” she said. ”We have not received further information on the case.”

She said that the police were fully cooperating with the family to investigate the case and find out if there was any irresponsibility on behalf of the police.

”We will know further information after the police finish the investigation,” she added.

Police Sub-Inspector Ahmed Shiyam confirmed that police were investigating the incident and would reveal details after the investigation.

”The police are ready to provide any assistance that the family requires from police,” Shiyam said. ”They requested police investigate.”

He said that if the family requested police would offer the family postmortem but they wanted to bury them today.

Shahindha Ismail from the Police Integrity Commission (PIC) said that a team from the commission had arrived at Gahdhu Police station [where the incident took place] to investigate the case.

Shahindha said that the details of the case would only be given after the conclusion of the investigation.

”After finishing the investigation we will issue a press statement to give details of the case,” she said.

She assured that action would be taken against police if they were found to have been negligent.