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    November 21, 2018

    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.”  

    February 27, 2018

    The Maldivian authorities must immediately and unconditionally release all people who have been arbitrarily detained under the state of emergency solely for exercising their human rights and halt attacks on peaceful protestors, Amnesty International said today.

    The human rights organization has documented several arbitrary detentions on the island nation under state of emergency laws, mainly of peaceful protestors and journalists. Members of the judiciary and political opponents have also been held arbitrarily since the state of emergency was imposed on 5 February, and the organization has called for their immediate release unless promptly charged with a recognizable criminal offence.

    “Those who were peacefully protesting against the state of emergency should never have been detained in the first place and must be released immediately and unconditionally. The Maldivian government is using the state of emergency as a licence for repression, targeting members of civil society, judges and political opponents,” said Dinushika Dissanayake, Amnesty International’s Deputy South Asia Director.

    February 22, 2018
    Amnesty International publishes State of the World’s Human Rights report for 2017 to 2018 “Last year our world was immersed in crises, with prominent leaders offering us a nightmarish vision of a society blinded by hatred and fear. This emboldened those who promote bigotry, but it inspired far more people to campaign for a more hopeful future,” says Salil Shetty, head of Amnesty International

    The world is reaping the terrifying consequences of hate-filled rhetoric that threatens to normalize massive discrimination against marginalized groups, Amnesty International warned today as it launched its annual assessment of human rights.

    Nevertheless, the organization found that a growing movement of both first-time and seasoned activists campaigning for social justice provides real hope of reversing the slide towards oppression.

    The report, The State of the World’s Human Rights, covers 159 countries and delivers the most comprehensive analysis of the state of human rights in the world today.

    February 06, 2018

    The Maldivian government must immediately release judges and opposition politicians it has arbitrarily detained through emergency powers, Amnesty International said today.

    “Since the declaration of a state of emergency on 5 February, we have seen a wave of arbitrary arrests in the Maldives. A state of emergency cannot be used to carry out what appears to be a purge of the Supreme Court and the opposition. These judges and opposition politicians must be released immediately,” said Biraj Patnaik, Amnesty International’s South Asia Director.

    Invoking sweeping emergency powers, the government has arrested the Chief Justice, Abdulla Saeed, another Supreme Court judge, Justice Ali Hameed, a former president, Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, the former president’s son-in-law, Mohamed Nadheem, and the head of the Department of Judicial Administration, Hassan Saeed.

    Colonel Nazim, a former Defence Minister who was under house arrest, has now been moved back to jail by the Maldivian correctional services, in defiance of a 1 February 2018 Supreme Court order for his release.

    February 05, 2018

    Amnesty International has warned that the 15-day declaration of the state of emergency in the Maldives must not become a licence for further repression.

    “The declaration of the state of emergency in the Maldives is an extremely worrying development that comes at a time of heightened political anxieties in the country. But respect for human rights must not become another casualty of this ongoing crisis,” said Dinushika Dissanayake, Amnesty International’s Deputy South Asia Director.

    “The Maldivian authorities have an appalling track-record of suppressing freedom of expression and any form of opposition, a pattern of behaviour that has intensified over recent years. It is vital that authorities respect their obligations under international human rights law during this period of emergency. This cannot be a licence for further repression.”


    The declaration of the state of emergency – which suspends several clauses of the Maldivian constitution – comes days after the Maldivian Supreme Court overturned a politically-motivated conviction against former President Mohamed Nasheed on ‘terrorism’ charges.

    September 22, 2017

    Amnesty International has serious fair trial concerns in the case of opposition MP, Faris Maumoon, who faces a hearing on Monday on charges stemming from his attempt to move a vote of no-confidence in the Speaker of Parliament.

    Faris Maumoon was arrested by the Maldivian authorities on 18 July 2017, amid charges that he attempted to bribe parliamentarians into supporting a vote of no-confidence against Abdullah Maseeh, the Speaker of Parliament and a key ally of Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen. Maumoon’s home was raided and property taken, including documents, over the course of four hours.

    “The Maldives has long denied members of the political opposition a fair trial. There have been convictions on trumped-up charges, for all sorts of alleged offences from trespassing to terrorism. There are serious concerns that Faris Maumoon will suffer the same fate. He must be given a fair trial in line with international standards,” said Biraj Patnaik, Amnesty International’s South Asia Director.

    August 03, 2017

    By Biraj Patnaik, Amnesty International’s South Asia Director

    The Maldives is one of the world’s most desired holiday destinations. This curl of islands in the Indian Ocean, renowned for its wondrous natural beauty, attracts more than a million people each year. The sweeping views of turquoise water, the white sand beaches shaded by sloping palm trees, and the warm hospitality of its people have earned it comparisons to paradise.

    This week, however, the country is drawing attention for the ugly actions of its government. The Maldives is poised to carry out its first executions in more than 60 years. Against the backdrop of a political crisis, the embattled government wants to send three men to the gallows in a feeble attempt to look tough and distract attention.

    If they are allowed to go ahead, the executions would violate the Maldives’ commitments under international law. There are serious questions about the fairness of the proceedings that consigned the three men to their fate. One of them, Hussain Humaam Ahmed, was convicted of murder on the basis of an apparently coerced “confession” that he later retracted.

    August 01, 2017
      ·         First executions in more than 60 years ·         Government seeks to divert attention from political crisis ·         Executions would violate Maldives commitments under international law   Authorities in the Maldives must halt the first executions in more than 60 years as the government seeks to divert attention from a worsening political crisis, Amnesty International said today.   The Minister of Home Affairs has announced that executions will resume “in the next few days”, leaving three men on death row who have exhausted their legal processes at imminent risk. No date for the executions has been specified.  
    June 23, 2017

    Opposition politician Adam Azim has been released after spending nearly a week in detention in Maldives. He was arrested and faced trumped up charges after criticizing the government in a TV interview.

    Adam Azim, 46, is a well-known advocate for democracy in Maldives and a shadow minister in the opposition alliance, Maldives United Opposition (MUO). Shortly after his return to Maldives from a visit to Europe, Adam Azim was interviewed on the private TV channel Sangu TV on 8 June where he criticized the lack of independence of the judiciary as well as alleged corruption among government officials. Hours after his interview, police arrested him at his home in the capital, Malé. According to the arrest warrant, Adam Azim was suspected of inciting rioting and forceful overthrow of the government as well as obstructing police officers and obstructing the administration of law (under Sections 532, 533 and 610 of the Penal Code). He could have faced up to 17 years in prison if charged and convicted.

    May 31, 2017

    A call for appeals for Thayyib's release was sent to the Urgent Action Network on March 29 2017.

    Maldivian social media activist Thayyib Shaheem was released on 17 April after spending almost one month on remand in Dhoonidhoo island prison. He was accused of “spreading panic” on social media after he criticized a development project in Maldives.

    On 17 April 2017, Thayyib Shaheem was released from prison after the High Court overturned the Criminal Court’s detention order against him. Despite never being formally charged with a crime, he is released on the condition that he ceases his criticism of the government on social media and that he remain in the country for a period of 60 days.

    November 04, 2015

    President Abdulla Yameen’s declaration of a 30 day state of emergency in the Maldives ahead of planned anti-government protests raises the prospect of further attacks on dissent and human rights in the country, said Amnesty International today.

    “The declaration of a state of emergency must not be a precursor to a further crackdown on dissent or other human rights violations. The government should not use this state of emergency to silence free speech or infringe on other human rights,” said Abbas Faiz, Amnesty International’s Maldives Researcher.

    “The Maldivian authorities have a disturbing track-record of supressing freedom of expression and any form of opposition, which has intensified over the last two years. It is vital that authorities respect their obligations under international human rights law during this period of emergency.”

    September 04, 2015

    Maldives authorities must promptly and thoroughly investigate the brutal stabbing in broad daylight today of one of the lawyers of ex-President Mohamed Nasheed and bring to justice those responsible for it, Amnesty International said.

    Mahfooz Saeed, who is also a member of the opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) and an active blogger, was attacked by two men in the Maldivian capital Male today around 5pm local time. The men stabbed him in his head, and he is currently going through emergency surgery. The police must undertake a full, impartial and independent investigation, using all available information including any footage from nearby CCTV cameras.

    “This vicious attack must not go unpunished – Maldives authorities must ensure that human rights defenders can work free from fear of reprisals and that those responsible are held to account. There are strong suspicions that this was a targeted attack against Mahfooz Saeed and it is crucial that the true motive is uncovered,” said Abbas Faiz, Amnesty International’s Maldives Researcher.

    April 30, 2015

    Authorities in the Maldives must ensure that opposition-led May Day protests are allowed to pass peacefully and police who have threatened to crack down on demonstrators must refrain from excessive force, Amnesty International said.

    Supporters of the opposition coalition “Maldivians against Tyranny” are planning to stage a protest in the Maldives capital Male on 1 May. They demand the release of former President Mohamed Nasheed who has been imprisoned on charges of terrorism since March 2015 after an unfair trial. The opposition claims many thousands of people might take part in the protest, in what could be one of the largest such gatherings in the island nation’s history.

    “The May Day demonstrations come at a time when political tensions are threatening to boil over in the Maldives. The country’s security forces have a troubling history of violently repressing opposition protests, not least over the past few months – this must not happen tomorrow,” said Abbas Faiz, Amnesty International’s Maldives Researcher.

    April 23, 2015

    The human rights situation in the Maldives is deteriorating alarmingly as authorities are muzzling peaceful protesters, silencing critical media and civil society, while abusing the judicial system to imprison opposition politicians, Amnesty International said in a new briefing today.

    The briefing comes on the back of a five-day fact finding mission to Maldives (17 to 22 April 2015), when an Amnesty International delegation interviewed lawyers, human rights defenders, journalists and political activists. The delegation was unable to meet with government officials during this visit, but intends to accept an invitation to do so later in the year.

    “There’s a climate of fear spreading in the Maldives, as safeguards on human rights are increasingly eroded. The authorities have a growing track record of silencing critical voices by any means necessary – be it through the police, the judicial system, or outright threats and harassment. This must end immediately,” said Abbas Faiz, Amnesty International’s Maldives Researcher, who launched the briefing at a press conference in Delhi, India.

    March 13, 2015

    The conviction of Mohamed Nasheed, the former president of the Maldives on terrorism charges after a deeply flawed and politically motivated trial is a travesty of justice, said Amnesty International.

    “Amnesty International condemns the conviction of Mohamed Nasheed to 13 years in jail by judges who were state witnesses during an earlier investigation of this case. This trial has been flawed from start to finish, and the conviction is unsound” said Richard Bennett, Amnesty International's Asia-Pacific Director.

    “Rather than responding to international calls to strengthen the impartiality of the judiciary the government of the Maldives has proceeded with this sham trial for political reasons”.


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