MALDIVES: Incommunicado detention and fear of torture on civilians in Maldives 

Dear friends,

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) is forwarding information from Amnesty International about the arbitrary arrest and incommunicado detention of people who participated pro-democracy demonstrations in August by the government of Maldives. This is an additional report to Amnesty’s previous one issued on August 17. (Refer to ASA 29/005/2004)

On 13 August 2004, a state of emergency was declared in the Maldives, after a protest by about 5,000 people for genuine democracy and the release of political prisoners. Since then, the government has cracked down on the protesters as well as its opponents. However, President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom blamed his opponents saying that recent arrests had not been part of a crackdown, but were aimed at restoring order after his opponents resorted to violence. The emergency order gives President Gayoom the power to suspend the constitution and take any steps necessary to maintain peace.

AHRC has previously issued a statement on 27 August 2004 regarding the situation and called upon the government of Maldives to take immediate steps to correct the damage caused in recent weeks. (Refer to: AS-28-2004)

Urgent Appeals Desk
Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC)

PUBLIC AI Index: ASA 29/006/2004
31 August 2004

Further Information on UA 249/04 (ASA 29/005/2004, 17 August 2004) -Incommunicado detention/fear of torture or ill-treatment

Fathimath Nisreen (f)
Mohamed Niyaz (m), her brother
Ahmed Ibrahim Didi (m)
Mohamed Zaki (m)
Maria Manike (f)
Ibrahim Ismail (m), member of Special Majlis (parliament)
Ibrahim Hussain Zaki (m), member of Citizens’ Majlis, former Secretary General of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC)
Ghasim Ibrahim (m), member of Special Majlis, former president of SAARC
Dr Mohamed Monawar (m), former Attorney General, member of Citizens’ Majlis
Ali Faiz (m), member of Special Majlis
Dr Hussain Rasheed (m), member of Special Majlis, member of the National Human
Rights Commission
Ilyas Hussain Ibrahim (m), member of Special Majlis

New names: Ibraham Zaki (m), brother of Mohammed Zaki Husnoo Alsuood (m), lawyer and member of the National Human Rights Commission
Jennifer Latheef (f)
Aminath Najeeb (f)
Mohammed Naseem (m), member of special Majlis
Ahmed Shafeeq (m), member of Special Majlis
Ahmed Adil (m), member of Special Majlis
Asad Whaeed (m), brother of prisoner of conscience Naushad Whaeed

Released: Muad Mohamed Zaki (m), son of Mohamed Zaki

On 22 August the government announced that it had released 62 of the people arrested after mass pro-democracy demonstrations earlier this month. Subsequent reports give details of others released but it is not clear if these are in addition to these 62 people. Among the released was Muad Mohamed Zaki: he is not known to have been tortured, but he is not allowed to leave the country. The government has not named any of those released or still in custody, but Amnesty International has learned the names of a further eight detainees. All are at risk of torture.

All are detained without charge or access to lawyers, and their family visits are severely restricted. At least one of them is in need of medical attention: Ahmed Ibrahim Didi needs urgent attention for a heart condition. The government has persistently alleged that the prisoners were involved in criminal activity during the demonstrations, but has not produced any credible evidence to support this. At the same time, under the pretext of a “state of emergency”, it has deliberately denied the prisoners any opportunity to defend themselves in court.

It is difficult to establish the exact number detained because of their involvement in the pro-democracy demonstrations: estimates range from one to several hundred. The detainees include an unknown number of children. According to the Maldivian newspaper Haveeru, 22 children were handed over to the “Unit for the Protection of Children¡¯s Rights” (UPCR) on 25 August. The report indicates that these children were sent to remain in their homes and will not be allowed to go out, except to attend school or “to participate in programmes organized by UPRC”.

Contact information of government of Maldives:

1. Diplomatic Missions
High Commission of the Republic of Maldives in Sri Lanka
23, Kaviratne Place
Colombo 6
Sri Lanka
Tel: +(94) 11 2 586762/580076/500943
Telex: 22469 MALEMB CE
Telefax: +(94) 11 2 581200

2. High Commission of the Republic of Maldives in The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
22 Nottingham Place,
London W1U 5NJ,
United Kingdom
Tel: +(44) 171 224 2135 (Two Lines)
Telex: 051-921494 MALDIG
Telefax: +(44) 171 224 2157

3. Permanent Mission of the Republic of Maldives to the United Nations

800 Second Avenue


Suite 400-

E, New York
N.Y. 10017
United States of America
Tel: 1-212-599-6195
Telefax: 1-212-661-6405, 1-212-972-3970

Thank you.

Urgent Appeals Desk
Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC)

To support this case, please click here: SEND APPEAL LETTER


Document Type : Forwarded Urgent Appeal
Document ID : FA-20-2004
Countries :