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Republic of Maldives: Further information on possible prisoners of conscience / health concern: Ahamed Shafeeq, Ali Moosa Didi; and new name: Mohamed Shafeeq and one other (name unknown)

, رقم الوثيقة: ASA 29/004/1995

AI remains concerned about the health of Ahamed Shafeeq and Ali Moosa Didi, who were arrested on 21 April 1995. Ahamed Shafeeq is now under house arrest; he can receive visitors and telephone calls. He is said to be an asthma sufferer and to have a lung infection; he has also been diagnosed as suffering from post traumatic stress disorder. Ali Moosa Didi returned to Male' from hospital on 10 July and was immediately taken to Dhoonidhoo detention centre. His relatives reportedly have not been allowed to see him. Ahamed Shafeeq's son, Mohammed Shafeeq, was reportedly arrested on 17 July and detained in Dhoonidoo detention centre. AI is concerned that they may be at risk of torture or ill treatment. A third person, present at the time of Ahamed Shafeeq's and Ali Moosa Didi's arrest in April, was reportedly arrested in early July. AI is seeking information about him.

EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: AMR 29/04/95
Distr: UA/SC
21 July 1995
Further information (2) on UA 115/95 (ASA 29/02/95, 25 May 1995) and follow-up
ASA 29/03/95, 15 June 1995 - Possible Prisoners of Conscience / Health Concern
This is a limited action. Please restrict appeals to 20 per section.
REPUBLIC OF MALDIVESAhamed Shafeeq, aged 67, former civil servant, writer
Ali Moosa Didi, writer and politician
Mohamed Shafeeq, former civil servant
and one other (name unknown)
Amnesty International remains concerned about the health of Ahamed Shafeeq
and Ali Moosa Didi who were arrested on 21 April 1995.
Ahamed Shafeeq was transferred from Male' police headquarters to house arrest
on 1 July. He is now permitted to receive visitors and use the telephone. To
date, he has not been charged or brought before a court. He is said to be
an asthma-sufferer and to have a lung infection. He has also been diagnosed
by a psychiatrist as suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and has
been advised to avoid stressful situations; Amnesty International is concerned
that anxiety caused to Ahamed Shafeeq by being held under house arrest may
aggravate his already poor physical and mental condition.
Ali Moosa Didi returned to Male' from hospital treatment in Trivandrum, India
on 10 July. He was immediately taken to Dhoonidhoo detention centre. To
Amnesty International's knowledge, his relatives have not been allowed to see
him.
Reports have also been received that Ahamed Shafeeq's son, Mohammed Shafeeq,
was arrested on 17 July. He was seen being taken to Dhoonidoo detention centre
on that day. Amnesty International is concerned that Ali Moosa Didi and Mohamed
Shafeeq may be subjected to torture or ill-treatment while in custody at
Dhoonidhoo detention centre.
Amnesty International has also learned that a third person, who was present
at the time of Ahamed Shafeeq's and Ali Moosa Didi's arrest in April, was taken
into custody in early July. The organization is currently seeking more
information from the government about his arrest.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION
Over the last few years, Amnesty International has received several reports
that political and other prisoners have been subjected to torture or
ill-treatment and that confessions were made under duress. Before they are
brought to trial, political prisoners are either kept at Male' police
headquarters or at Dhoonidhoo detention centre, which also comes under the
direct responsibility of the police. Several prisoners who have been held at
Dhoonidhoo have complained of ill-treatment there during the period of their
interrogation. Some say they were held in solitary confinement for several
months after denying knowledge of the charges against them. Some were held
in solitary confinement for as long as 18 or 24 months. Some say that for up
to about six weeks, during the period of solitary confinement, they were held
in handcuffs joined together by a single hinge which greatly restricted their
movement, interfering with their ability to eat and to keep themselves clean.
2
These restraints chafed the skin, and some prisoners complained of lasting
stiffness and weakness in their limbs as a result. They report that the cells
in which they were held were very small - about four or five feet by seven
or eight feet - and made from corrugated iron sheets which became very hot.
In a reply to members of Amnesty International who sent urgent appeals on behalf
of Ahamed Shafeeq and Ali Moosa Didi, the Director of the Ministry of Information
and Culture in the Maldives stated: "The [above] two men have been taken into
custody on charges of having contravened the law and are not prisoners of
conscience. Investigations into their case are under way. While it is true
that Mr. Shafeeq was sent to Madras for medical treatment, I wish to inform
you that he was sent to India for treatment at the expense of the Government
of the Maldives."
FURTHER RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/faxes/express and airmail
letters either in English or in your own language:
- acknowledging the reply from the Director of the Ministry of Information
and Culture to members of Amnesty International on the case of Ahamed Shafeeq
and Ali Moosa Didi;
- expressing concern about the arrest and detention of Mohamed Shafeeq and
Ali Moosa Didi;
- requesting that, while held in Dhoonidhoo detention centre, they be treated
humanely and not subjected to ill-treatment or torture;
- calling for the immediate and unconditional release of the four detained
men, if they are not to be charged with recognizable criminal offences.
APPEALS TO:
President Maummon 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
Lt Colonel Adam Zahir
Officer in Charge
Police Headquarters
Bandeyrige
Male'
Republic of Maldives
Telegrams: Lt Colonel Zahir, Police Headquarters, Male, Maldives
Salutation: Dear Lt Colonel
COPIES OF YOUR APPEALS 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 ccredited to your
country.
3
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International secretariat,
or your section office if sending appeals after 1 September 1995.

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