Human Rights Commission of the Maldives (HRCM) has indicated that efforts are being made to bring back four Maldivian children who are being held in an Afghan prison.
The four jailed kids are the children of Ali Shafiu and his wife, who were apprehended in 2018 while attempting to join a militant group. Both are serving 21-year prison sentences in Afghanistan, and their children have been imprisoned alongside them.
HRCM announced that consultations with appropriate international bodies are ongoing to assist the four children’s return to the Maldives.
HRCM stated that efforts to bring the children back began when their parents were first held in Afghanistan, and that the Afghan government had also aided in the efforts to repatriate the children. However, the commission stated that efforts were halted when the family refused to return them.
HRCM stated that efforts to return the children have begun after fresh discussions with the family, since four innocent children are being imprisoned in prison for a crime they did not commit. The commission stated that it is coordinating efforts with local authorities to facilitate the return of the children. However, it highlighted that bringing the children back will be challenging owing to the present COVID-19 situation, as well as other issues.
HRCM also reported that an Afghan humanitarian organization had visited the children in prison at HRCM’s request. The commission stated that efforts are being made to relocate the children to a safer location until they can be returned to the Maldives.
The story went viral on social media after his family accused the Maldives Police Service of working with Afghan police to abuse Ali Shafiu and his family. However, the police have disputed these allegations.