Maafushi Prison to have high-security wing to hold extremists

Maafushi Prison. (Sun Photo/Fayaz Moosa)

Home Minister Imran Abdulla states the authorities are working on developing a separate high-security wing at Maafushi Prison to segregate inmates who hold extremist views.

Imran, who attended the Parliament for a ministerial questioning session on Wednesday morning, was questioned by Ungoofaaru MP Mohamed Waheed (Wadde) regarding a joint report by the Home Ministry and Transparency Maldives.

 Wadde said the report established Maldivian prisons had turned into a stronghold for extremists and militants, and questioned Imran on the measures implemented to address the issue.

Imran said that Maldives had not categorized inmates based on type of offense until the current administration took over. He said the administration was especially focused on finding ways to assess extremists.

He said the administration was working on segregating extremist inmates from the general prison population, and assessing the challenges they pose to the entire prison system.

Home Minister Imran Abdulla responds to questions at the Parliament on February 15, 2023. (Photo/People's Majlis)

“We had to stay up last night due to some incidents of this sort. Because of the challenges people like them pose to the entire prison system,” he said.

Imran said the administration had done a lot in an effort to overcome the issue, including working on developing a high-security wing to hold extremists.

He said the wing will be complete around June/July.

Imran said the wing is being developed based on similar facilities in countries like Singapore.

“The facility we toured in Singapore was developed for SGD 50 million. But we got only MVR 35 million to develop our facility,” he said.

Concern over the spread of extremism in prisons has been repeatedly raised by the police.