PEN supports full acquittal for Jennifer Latheef

Maldives: Honorary Member and journalist Jennifer Latheef has been pardoned from serving a 10-year prison sentence handed down to her in October 2005 by a Maldivian courthouse for an alleged act of ‘terrorism’. She had been accused of throwing a stone during a September 2003 rally protesting human rights violations in the Maldives.

Latheef has renounced the decision saying that she cannot be pardoned for something she has not done. Latheef has also taken this opportunity to speak on behalf of five others wrongfully handed a similar sentence: Abdullah Alexander (Alec), Ikleel Ibrahim (Ikul), Abdullah Shabir, Ahmed Moosa (Jordan) and Ziya Abbas, whose convictions were based on a single confessional statement.

Latheef explains her rejection of the pardon for the following reason, “Even with a pardon, my freedom of movement has gone. Every time I go to an airport I will have all sorts of problems. I will have to explain to airport officials that I am not a terrorist… and I need to travel to continue my human rights work…I need to clear my name. They could have expunged my record. I was charged for something that I did not do.”

English PEN calls for a lift on all terrorist allegations aimed at Jennifer Latheef.

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