Profession: Luthfee and Zaki are businessmen. Nisreen worked as the personal secretary to Luthfee. All are also internet writers.
Date of arrest: January and February 2002.
Sentence: Luthfee and Zaki were sentenced to life imprisonment, reduced to fifteen years in December 2003. Nisreen was sentenced to ten years’ imprisonment, reduced to five years on 13 November 2003.
Details of arrest: They were arrested for their alleged involvement with Sandhaanu, an internet publication critical of the authorities. Luthfee, Nisreen and Zaki 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 are 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.
Latest developments: In May 2003 Luthfee managed to escape and now lives in exile. On 13 December 2003 Nisreen was reportedly released from prison but was banished to Feeali Island. She was allowed to return to Male in the summer of 2004 for medical treatment. She was being held under house arrest until 13 August when she was taken to Dhoonidhoo prison. She was freed on 24 October 2004 but has been transfered back to Feeali Island to resume her five-year banishment sentence. Zaki was held at Maafushi prison until early 2004, when they were granted medical leave. Zaki, who suffers from a bladder condition, was also arrested in August 2004. He was held in Maafushi for one month before being transferred to hospital. He was placed under house arrest in October 2004.
Honorary members of: English PEN.
Originally posted with the url: www.englishpen.org/writersinprison/writersinexile/ibrahimmoosaluthfeefathimathni/