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.
President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom
The President=s Palace
Republic of Maldives
Fax: + 960 32 55 00
Salutation: Dear President Gayoom
The Island Newspaper
223 Bloemendhal Road,
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.