Republic of Maldives: arrests of possible prisoners of conscience
Since March 1990 scores of people have been arrested in the Republic of Maldives, many of whom are believed to have been detained for their non- violent criticism of the government. Prisoners have allegedly been ill- treated and in some cases confessions are believed to have been extracted under duress. Relatives of prisoners have reported harassment. Amnesty International is concerned that those prisoners who have been charged may be tried by procedures which, it believes, fall short of internationally recognized standards for fair trial. The organization is also concerned that the Prevention of Terrorism Act, passed in December 1990 reportedly with retroactive application, has extended the range of crimes which attract the death penalty.