DPRS to jam mobile phones in jails

The Department of Penitentiary and Rehabilitation Services (DPRS) has reportedly decided to place cellular jammers in all the country’s jails to prevent inmates from communicating with the outside using mobile phones.

The DPRS announced that it would be purchasing cellular jammers in the edition of the government gazette dated 18th April.

Minister for Home Affairs Mohamed Shihab said he did not want to give any information about the cellular jammers as it was “the concern of the DPRS.”

DPRS Director General Mohamed Rasheed said he also would not give any information on the cellular jammers.

”It’s not good for us to tell you how many guns and bullets the police have,” he said. ”You also should know it is not very good to [publish] all the information on the armed forces and their work.”

However, Press Secretary for the President Mohamed Zuhair confirmed that the government was trying to establish cellular jammer in all the jails.

Zuhair said that it would make the jail security level more advanced.

”Many times we have noticed inmates receiving assistance from people outside,” he said. ”They have connection with people outside.”

He said after the cellular jammer was installed a land line would provided for the inmates’ use, ”so they can reach their family and relatives in a regulated manner.”

State Minister for Home Ahmed Adil has recently claimed that jail officers help inmates to bring in mobile phones and drugs to the cells.

He told Minivan News that several jail officers were being investigated on suspicion of helping inmates to bring mobile phones and drugs into cells in Male’ prison.

“Three inmates and several jail officers we suspect [to be involved] have been moved to Dhoonidhu [prison] for investigation,” he said.

Inmates in Male’ Prison last week damaged their cells after jail officers seized mobile phones and other contraband.

Likes(0)Dislikes(0)

New Auditor General to be appointed next week, government hopes

The government hopes appoint a new Auditor General by next week, after outgoing AG Ibrahim Naeem was dismissed from his post by parliament earlier this week.

Assistant executive director and interim head of the Auditor General’s office, Mohamed Hussein, said according to the law Ibrahim Naeem was no longer the Auditor General and was not attending the office.

Hussein said he did want to reveal whether staff at the audit office were disheartened by parliament’s decision.

”We always work according to the policy of Auditor General at the time,” Hussein said.

The President’s Press Secretary Mohamed Zuhair said the government was “seeking a capable and educated man for the position,” and hoped to fill the position next week.

“President Mohamed Nasheed has promised to appoint someone as capable and as educated as the former Auditor General,” Zuhair said.

Naeem was formally dismissed by parliament in a DRP-PA coalition-led no-confidence motion on Sunday, after corruption allegations were sent by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) in a letter to a parliamentary sub-committee chaired by Deputy Speaker Ahmed Nazim.

The ACC also sent the case to the Prosecutor General’s office, seeking to initiate court proceedings.

Deputy Prosecutor General Hussain Shameem confirmed the office had received “a huge file of documents.”

“I don’t think [the case will be influenced by Parliament’s decision] as we look it from at a completely different angle,” Shameem said.

“It’s a different process to Parliament. We have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt whether or not he is guilty. Parliament decides on the basis of whether or not he was doing his job.”

Shameem said it would take “weeks” to decide whether the case would be forwarded to the court.

Meanwhile DRP Vice President and MP Ali Waheed said he wished Naeem “a bright future.”

Waheed said the 43-28 vote in favour of dismissal was successful due to votes from the Qaumee Party, Peoples Alliance and many independent MPs.

”This shows that even if a dictator tries to go against the law, the politicians of the country will not allow him do it,” Waheed said.

DRP held a ceremony at the DRP office following to the vote, to celebrate its victory in the no-confidence motion.

”We celebrated the victory as we had tried very hard for this,” Waheed said. ”We were arrested and police took us to Dhoonidhu and people tried for this so much.”

He said all the demonstrations over the weekend were because the MDP MPs “tried to deadlock the parliament.”

”We do not want parliament to be cancelled for even one day,” Waheed said.

He called on people to show the same effort when the parliament begins debate over the controversial decentralisation bill.

He said he do not want to say anything about accusations the Auditor General made against senior DRP officials in his audit reports.

”That will be decided by the court, whether they are true or not,” he said.

Zuhair claimed that the vote against the Auditor General proved the DRP had “the best interest of their political party in mind and not the best interest of the country.”

He said Naeem’s reports contained accusations against former government ministersare now independent MPs.

”That’s why they voted the way they did in the no-confidence motion,” Zuhair said.

He added that the audit report was not only the work of the Auditor General, “but a big team in the Audit Office.”

Minister for Home affairs Mohamed Shihab is another government official facing a potential no-confidence motion from the DRP, in response to a police decision to detain Waheed and several other senior DRP leaders.

Shihab said he would not comment on prospect of a no-confidence motion against him “until I receive notice of it from parliament.”

Spokesperson for Maldivian Democratic Party Ahmed Haleem did not respond to Minivan News at time of press.

Likes(0)Dislikes(0)

President asks German scholars to help interpret Sharia law for the Maldives

President Nasheed has asked German scholars with expertise in Sharia law to help apply it to certain fields in the Maldives, during his visit to Berlin.

“I have done my homework and I am quite aware of the amount of German discourse in Islamic jurisprudence”, President Nasheed said, according to German news site deutschenachrichten.

Nasheed told the German press that Maldivian law was based on Sharia, but warned them about “jumping to the wrong conclusions.”

“We are a tolerant and free country, and we want to keep it that way,” he said.

Press S for the President’s Office Mohamed Zuhair said that Germany was a country where a large number of experienced and professional scholars live.

”In the 20th century, the highest standard of Islamic universities was also in Germany,” Zuhair said.

Zuhair said the government had discussed the request for German assistance with the Islamic Ministry, which had expressed its approval.

However spokesperson for the Islamic Ministry Sheikh Ahmadullah said he had no information about the matter and did not want to comment.

Zuhair explained that “many Islamic books also were preserved in Germany” and believed that “German religious scholars would be more experienced than Maldivian scholars.”

”The origins of Sharia code would not be changed,” Zuhair said. ”They will only help in some areas like taxation.”

He said the president had received very positive answers in response to his interest.

State Minister for Islamic Affairs Mohamed Shaheem Ali Saeed said if good advice was given “it should always be heard and acted upon.”

Shaheem said people should realise “that there are Islamic scholars all around the world, and not only in Arabic countries.”

“The are good scholars in many countries,” Shaheem said, “even in those where Islamic people are in a minority.”

”Even a scholar like Sheikh Bukhari (a famous scholar of the Hadiths) was not from an Arabic country,” Shaheem explained.

“If a scholar in another country can give the right information on Sharia law, we have to accept it. But if anyone gives the wrong information, we have scholars here who can tell us the right way to implement Sharia.”

Likes(0)Dislikes(0)