Profession: Businessman and internet writer.
Date of arrest: January 2002
Sentence: Life imprisonment, reduced to fifteen years in December 2003.
Details of arrest: He was arrested together with other collegues for his alleged involvement with Sandhaanu, an internet publication critical of the authorities. They were taken to Malé Police Headquarters, where they were held in solitary confinement for two weeks. They were then transferred to a detention centre on the island of Dhonidhoo, where they were held until May 2002.
Details of trial: On 29 May 2002 they were charged with ‘defamation’ and ‘committing acts hostile to the government’, and a second hearing took place in June. Throughout the proceedings they were denied access to a lawyer. After the hearing all four were detained on the island of Mafushi where they were reportedly kept in solitary confinement in small cells. They were sentenced on 7 July 2002. The authorities have denied their request for an appeal.
Place of detention: Block C, Maafushi prison.
Treatment in prison: Although they no longer held in solitary confinement, conditions in the prison are said to be harsh. Prisoners are kept in handcuffs at all times and access to healthcare is severely limited. Their cells are not ventilated and their drinking water is restricted. Visits from relatives are only allowed once a month.
Honorary member of: English PEN
Released: 22 February 2006
Originally posted with the url: www.englishpen.org/writersinprison/writersinexile/ahmeddidi/