Document - Maldives: Further information on: Incommunicado detention/fear of torture or ill-treatment












PUBLIC AI Index: ASA 29/006/2004

31 August 2004


Further Information on UA 249/04 (ASA 29/005/2004, 17 August 2004) - Incommunicado detention/fear of torture or ill-treatment


MALDIVES Fathimath Nisreen (f)

Mohamed Niyaz (m), her brother

Ahmed Ibrahim Didi (m)

Mohamed Zaki (m)

Maria Manike (f)

Ibrahim Ismail (m), member of Special Majlis (parliament)

Ibrahim Hussain Zaki (m), member of Citizens' Majlis, former Secretary General of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC)

Ghasim Ibrahim (m), member of Special Majlis, former president of SAARC

Dr Mohamed Monawar (m), former Attorney General, member of Citizens' Majlis

Ali Faiz (m), member of Special Majlis

Dr Hussain Rasheed (m), member of Special Majlis, member of the National Human Rights Commission

Ilyas Hussain Ibrahim (m), member of Special Majlis


New names: Ibraham Zaki (m), brother of Mohammed Zaki

Husnoo Alsuood (m), lawyer and member of the National Human Rights Commission

Jennifer Latheef (f)

Aminath Najeeb (f)

Mohammed Naseem (m), member of special Majlis

Ahmed Shafeeq (m), member of Special Majlis

Ahmed Adil (m), member of Special Majlis

Asad Whaeed (m), brother of prisoner of conscience Naushad Whaeed


Released: Muad Mohamed Zaki (m), son of Mohamed Zaki



On 22 August the government announced that it had released 62 of the people arrested after mass pro-democracy demonstrations earlier this month. Subsequent reports give details of others released but it is not clear if these are in addition to these 62 people. Among the released was Muad Mohamed Zaki: he is not known to have been tortured, but he is not allowed to leave the country. The government has not named any of those released or still in custody, but Amnesty International has learned the names of a further eight detainees. All are at risk of torture.


All are detained without charge or access to lawyers, and their family visits are severely restricted. At least one of them is in need of medical attention: Ahmed Ibrahim Didi needs urgent attention for a heart condition. The government has persistently alleged that the prisoners were involved in criminal activity during the demonstrations, but has not produced any credible evidence to support this. At the same time, under the pretext of a “state of emergency”, it has deliberately denied the prisoners any opportunity to defend themselves in court.


It is difficult to establish the exact number detained because of their involvement in the pro-democracy demonstrations: estimates range from one to several hundred. The detainees include an unknown number of children. According to the Maldivian newspaper Haveeru, 22 children were handed over to the “Unit for the Protection of Children’s Rights” (UPCR) on 25 August. The report indicates that these children were sent to remain in their homes and will not be allowed to go out, except to attend school or "to participate in programmes organized by UPRC".


RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send appeals to arrive as quickly as possible, in English or your own language:

- expressing concern for the safety of those named above, and all others arrested since demonstrations on 12 and 13 August;

- acknowledging reports of the release of at least 62 prisoners, but urging the authorities to disclose the identities of those who are still in custody;

- urging the authorities to ensure that prisoners are treated humanely and not tortured or ill-treated, and given immediate access to their families, lawyers of their choice and any medical attention that they may require;

- expressing concern that they appear to be held solely for the peaceful exercise of their right to freedom of speech and assembly;

- urging the authorities to release them immediately and unconditionally unless they are to be charged with a recognisably criminal offence, through a judicial process that conforms to international human rights standards.


APPEALS TO:

President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom

The President=s Palace

Maafannu Theemuge

Male 2002

Republic of Maldives

Fax: + 960 32 55 00

Salutation: Dear President Gayoom

COPIES TO:

The Island Newspaper

223 Bloemendhal Road,

Colombo 13

Sri Lanka

Email: gamini@unl.upali.lk


and to diplomatic representatives of the Maldives accredited to your country.


PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat, or your section office, if sending appeals after 12 October 2004.

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