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Maldivian activist Mohamed Rusthum Mujuthaba has been relieved from further imprisonment on charges of blasphemy and possession of “obscene material”. The criminal court of Maldives observed that the activist spent six months in pretrial detention, in excess of the sentence stipulated under domestic laws. Therefore, he will not have to serve more time in jail.
NO FURTHER ACTION IS REQUESTED. MANY THANKS TO ALL WHO SENT APPEALS.
Accused of posting content critical about religion on social media and for possession of “obscene material”, Maldivian religious freedom and human rights activist Mohamed Rusthum Mujuthaba faced five months in prison upon conviction.
Mohamed Rusthum Mujuthaba appeared in court on 11 May 2022, where he stated that he had been detained for six months, in excess of the sentence stipulated if convicted. However, the state prosecutor argued that he had been detained for 29 days, 22 hours and 19 minutes. The reduced time argued by the state meant that he could have been imprisoned again.
Amnesty International contacted the Maldives Correctional Services and confirmed that the activist spent time in pretrial detention, in excess of the claims by the Prosecutor General’s Office. On 10 August 2022, when the state prosecutor argued at the Maldivian criminal court that Mohamed Rusthum Mujuthaba was detained for only 29 days, the judge checked the information with the Maldives Correctional Services and found Amnesty International’s findings to be true.
Mohamed Rusthum Mujuthaba pled guilty to the charges but the criminal court relieved him from further imprisonment. No further actions are required as the case has drawn a conclusion and he no longer faces imprisonment.
“I would have had to go to prison again as the state was trying to imprison me illegally. Amnesty International took urgent action, contacted the Maldives Correctional Services to corroborate my claims and wrote to the prosecutor general’s office and attorney general’s office. I sincerely thank members and supporters of Amnesty International for their genuine support,” said Mohamed Rusthum Mujuthaba.