High Court invalidates Maafushi Court’s ruling on prison officers’ beards

The High Court has ruled that Maafushi Court’s ruling that prison officers on the island be allowed to grow their beards was unlawful because Maafushi Court gave no opportunity for the defendant – the Department of Penitentiary and Rehabilitation Services (DPRS) – to say anything before the case was concluded.

The High Court also said that Maafushi Court’s ruling stated that the case was presented to the court by eight parties, but said that in the form presented to Maafushi Court there was only one person listed as the petitioner.

The High Court’s ruling, delivered by High Court Judges Shuaib Hassan Zakariyya, Abdulla Hameed and Yousuf Hussain, delivered the verdict made no mention about the legality of prison officers growing beards.

Last year a group of prison officers working for the DPRS filed a case against a requirement that male officers shave off their beards.

Maafushi Court Judge Ibrahim Hussain at the time ruled that men should not be told to shave their beards ‘’to make them look like women’’. All Prophets, from Adam to Mohamed (PBUH), grew beards, the judge observed.

In September last year, Rector of the Faculty of Sharia Law, Dr Ibrahim Zakariyya Moosa, reportedly said that a female student wearing the face veil studying at the Faculty of Sharia Law would be asked to remove it during class or face being expelled if she refused to do so.

Later the girl filed the case in the Civil Court, which has not yet reached a verdict.

Speaking to the press, current Attorney General Azima Shukoor said wearing the face veil in class should not be banned.


Police officer caught with charged mobile phone batteries in Maafushi Prison

Head of Department and Penitentiary and Rehabilitation Services (DPRS) Mohamed Rasheed has confirmed that a police officer is being questioned for allegedly attempting to smuggle charged phone batteries to inmates at Maafushi prison.

”When he [the police officer] entered through the prison gates, our prison officers suspected that he was up to something,” said Rasheed. ”So prison officers followed him and made sure that something was going with him.”

After the prison officers were sure, Rasheed said prison officers immediately informed the police about the matter.

”Police searched his body and discovered those items on him,” he said. ”We did not search his body because he was a police officer and we thought it would be best to let the police do it.”

Rasheed said that a part of Maafushi Prison had been given to police temporarily to use to keep pre-trial detainees.

Police Sub-Inspector Ahmed Shiyam also confirmed that a police officer was caught with two charged batteries on him.

”We are investigating the case,” Shiyam said. ”Two extra mobile phones were found with him as well.”

In March last year, State Home Minister Ahmed Adil said several jail officers are being investigated on suspicion of helping inmates to bring mobile phones and drugs into cells in Male’ prison.

He also claimed that prison officers were helping inmates to bring in mobile phones and drugs.