Malta: inmate claims solitary confinement retribution after speaking out on ‘campaign of terror’ in prison

A prisoner who spoke out on breach of human rights and systematic terror within the prison facility, has been barred from contacting the outside world and thrown into solitary confinement. Correctional Services Agency denies allegations

A prisoner who initiated judicial proceedings over what he describes as systematic terror inside the Corradino Correctional Facility, now claims to have been placed in solitary confinement in a fresh court application.

Brian Vella, 41, said in a court application filed on Monday that he has been banned from communicating with the outside and was placed in solitary confinement as retribution for speaking out on the situation in prison. He filed a court application claiming systematic mistreatment of prisoners with the blessing of prisons director Col. Alexander Dalli.

Vella said he is prepared to confirm under oath that the “torture chair” mentioned in the media does exist, despite denials by both Dalli and the Home Affairs Minister Byron Camilleri. He also claimed to have seen prison guards taking out a dead prisoner from the facility in September 2018.

Prisoners in solitary confinement are subjected to 23 hours inside their cells, a measure that is akin to solitary confinement measures that are universally condemned.
Jason Grima, the lawyer representing Vella has requested his client be transferred out of CCF, as he was in imminent physical and psychological danger. The lawyer also said that after making the claims, Vella returned to his cell to find that it had been ransacked. No illegal items were found in his cell.