Document - Republic of Maldives: Further information on possible prisoners of conscience / health concern: Ahamed Shafeeq, Ali Moosa Didi; and new name: Mohamed Latheef

EXTERNALAI Index: ASA 29/07/95


This is a limited action. Please restrict appeals to 20 per Section.


22 September 1995


Further information on UA 115/95 (ASA 29/02/95, 25 May 1995) and follow-ups (ASA 29/03/95, 15 June; ASA 29/04/95, 21 July; ASA 29/05/95, 23 August; ASA 29/06/95, 30 August) - Possible prisoners of conscience / Health concern


REPUBLIC OF MALDIVES Ali Moosa Didi, writer and politician

Ahamed Shafeeq, aged 67, former civil servant


New name: Mohamed Latheef, aged 71, linguist



Amnesty International has learned with concern of the arrest and detention of Mohamed Latheef. He has reportedly been held in solitary confinement at Male' police headquarters since his arrest on 25 August 1995. There is grave concern, given his age, over his state of health. He is said to be extremely weak and suffers from diabetes. His family has requested permission from the authorities to visit him in detention but have so far not been given such permission. It is not known whether he has received any medical treatment while in detention.


It is believed that the arrest of Mohamed Latheef may be connected to the arrest of Ahamed Shafeeq and Ali Moosa Didi on 21 April 1995 in what is now being referred to as "the diary case". Five personal diaries written by Ahamed Shafeeq were confiscated by police officers when they arrested him at his home in April.


According to the latest information, Ali Moosa Didi was transferred from Male' police headquarters to house arrest on 27 August. Ahamed Shafeeq remains under house arrest.


To date, neither Ali Moosa Didi, Ahamed Shafeeq nor Mohamed Latheef have been charged or brought before a court.


BACKGROUND INFORMATION


Prior to parliamentary elections in the Maldives, Mohamed Latheef was one of a number of people who, in October 1994, tried to register a political party. Three weeks before the election, which took place on 2 December 1994, he was arrested and taken to Dhoonidhoo island detention centre for questioning. He was not charged or tried and was released two weeks later.


There are no political parties in the Maldives; all those standing in elections do so as independent candidates. In the run up to the parliamentary elections in December 1994, several members of parliament and scores of their supporters were arrested. Amnesty International appealed to the authorities for their immediate and unconditional release.


FURTHER RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/faxes/express/ airmail letters in English or in your own language:

- expressing concern about the arrest and detention of Mohamed Latheef, who appears to be held in contravention of his right to freedom of expression;

- calling for his immediate and unconditional release, if he is not to be promptly charged with a recognizable criminal offence;

- expressing concern about his state of health and requesting that he be given immediate access to appropriate medical treatment;

- requesting that Mohamed Latheef's family be permitted to visit him in detention;

- calling for the immediate and unconditional release of Ahamed Shafeeq and Ali Moosa Didi, if they are not to be charged with recognizable criminal offences. Expressing serious concern at the length of time these detainees have been held without charge or trial.


APPEALS TO:


President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom

The President's Office

Marine Drive (North)

Male'

Republic of Maldives

Faxes: + 960 32 55 00

Telegrams: President Gayoom, Male, Maldives

Salutation: Dear President


Brigadier Adam Zahir

Officer in Charge

Police Headquarters

Bandeyrige

Male'

Republic of Maldives

Telegrams: Brigadier Zahir, Police Headquarters, Male, Maldives

Salutation: Dear Brigadier


COPIES TO:


Abdulla Hameed

Speaker

Office of the Citizens' Majlis

Naadi, Ameer Ahmed Magu

Male', Republic of Maldives


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


PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International secretariat, or your section office if sending appeals after 10 November 1995.


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