HRCM starts investigation on alleged torture of terror suspect by police in Dhoonidhoo prison

Police officers seen during an operation conducted as part of the Commission on Investigation of Murders and Enforced Disappearances investigation of the missing journalist Ahmed Rizwan in September 2019 | Photo: Hussain Waheed

Malé, Maldives – Human Right Commission of Maldives (HRCM) starts investigation of the alleged attack on the police by Ahsan Mohamed who was arrested following an attempt to carryout a terrorist attack in Th. Thimarafushi.

Human Rights Commission of the Maldives (HRCM) stated that they had visited Dhoonidhoo Jail after the incident was reported to them around 22:00 last night and that they were investigating the case under the anti-torture act.

HRCM also stated that they had met with the inmate and also informed the family of the ongoing investigation in to the matter.

Ahsan Mohamed, Th. Thimarafushi, Asrafeevilla, charged of planning to commit an act of terrorism and carrying documents suggesting support for a terrorist group was remanded to detention til the end of jail. He was arrested with seven others an attempt to carryout a terrorist attack in Thimarafushi island of Thaa Atoll, including building IEDs and planning to bomb a school. 

According to the police, the incident took place when Ahsan Mohamed repeatedly blinded the cameras in his cell and was removed from the cell around 20:00 at 11 April 2021. 

The police removed items used to blind the cameras in the cell, cleaned tooth paste off the cameras and ordered the suspect into the cell. He however, refused to enter upon multiple attempts and threatened the officers. 

The police say that the situation then escalated when Ahsan physically attacked the officers, who used pepper spray to subdue and handcuff the prisoner. He was then put back in his cell. 

The police say that the situation is being reviewed by the Professional Standards Command and Use of Force Review committee to verify whether the actions of the police were as per police guidelines. Action will be taken if any police actions were against regulation.