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Maldives: Fear of torture/fear for safety, Mohamed Nasheed

, N° d'index: ASA 29/003/2001

Member of parliament Mohamed Nasheed was arrested on 8 October, and reportedly taken to Male' police station. He has been held incommunicado since 14 October, and Amnesty International is concerned for his safety, as detainees are frequently tortured while held incommunicado in police custody. He has reportedly not been charged or allowed to see a lawyer.

PUBLIC AI Index: ASA 29/003/2001
UA 274/01 Fear of torture/fear for safety 26 October 2001
MALDIVES Mohamed Nasheed, MP for Male’
Member of parliament Mohamed Nasheed was arrested on 8 October, and reportedly
taken to Male’ police station. He has been held incommunicado since 14 October,
and Amnesty International is concerned for his safety, as detainees are
frequently tortured while held incommunicado in police custody. He has
reportedly not been charged or allowed to see a lawyer.
Mohamed Nasheed is the member of parliament for Male’. It is not clear why
he was arrested, but Amnesty International fears that his arrest may have been
politically motivated. Amnesty International wrote to the government seeking
information about the reasons for his arrest on 12 October, but has received
no response to date.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION
Mohamed Nasheed was a signatory to a petition handed over to the Minister of
Home Affairs on 28 February 2001, requesting permission to set up a political
party, the Maldivian Democratic Party. So far, such permission has not been
granted. At least one other parliamentarian was detained for several days in
July 2001, reportedly because of his leading role in the formation of this
party.
Mohamed Nasheed has beeen arrested several times before for political reasons.
Amnesty International adopted him as a prisoner of conscience in April 1996
after he was sentenced to two years’ imprisonment on charges in connection
with his activities as a freelance journalist.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send appeals to arrive as quickly as possible, in
English or your own language:
- expressing concern that Mohamed Nasheed, MP for Male’, appears to have been
arrested solely for exercising his right to freedom of expression;
- calling upon the authorities to reveal where he is held and why he has been
arrested;
- urging the authorities that if he is not to be charged with a recognizably
criminal offence, he should be released immediately and unconditionally;
- urging the authorities to allow him access to his family and a lawyer of
his choosing.
APPEALS TO:
President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom
The President’s Palace
Maafannu Theemuge
Male’ 2002
Republic of Maldives
Telegrams: President Gayoom, Maldives
Faxes: + 960 32 55 00
Salutation: Dear President Gayoom
The Maldives High Commissioner
25 Melbourne Avenue
Colombo
Sri Lanka
Fax: + 94 1 581 200
Salutation: Dear High Commissioner
COPIES TO: diplomatic representatives of the Maldives accredited to your
country.
2
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat,
or your section office, if sending appeals after 7 December 2001.

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