Responding to the news that Lahiru Madhushanka, a Sri Lankan driver who has endured more than three years behind bars amid concerns about an unfair trial and harrowing prison conditions Amnesty International’s South Asia Research Director, Dinushika Dissanayake, said:
“It’s a relief to hear that Lahiru Madhushanka has been acquitted of all charges and released by the Maldivian authorities. For three years Lahiru experienced agonizing treatment where he was denied basic fair trial rights and was subject to a catalogue of serious human rights violations.
“Lahiru was beaten, denied medical care and held in solitary confinement in the most deplorable prison conditions. We hope Lahiru gets due reparations and justice for what he endured. Complaints of torture and other ill-treatment must be investigated independently and transparently as a matter of urgency.
“Amnesty International also calls for Maldivian authorities to guarantee humane conditions of detention, freedom from torture and other ill-treatment and access to free and fair trial for all persons imprisoned in the Maldives.”
Amnesty released a briefing in October 2018, ‘Prisoner in Paradise’, which told the story of how Lahiru Madhushanka arrived in the Maldives to seek a business opportunity in 2015 and found himself accused of being a highly trained sniper trying to kill President Abdulla Yameen.
The brief also detailed torture and other ill treatment Lahiru endured during his time in prison.