A cyberdissident and prominent artist in the Maldives, Naushad Waheed has been an outspoken critic of the government for many years. His latest arrest took place on 9 December 2001 in Malé. He was held in Dhoonidhoo detention centre for about five months before being transferred to house arrest. On 14 October 2002 he was tried in the Criminal Court without access to a lawyer or the opportunity to defend himself and ten days later was sentenced to fifteen years. He was charged with treason, reportedly because of his involvement in public debates deemed critical of the government and correspondence with Amnesty International detailing human rights abuses. Waheed was later transferred to Maafushi where he shares a cell with about twenty other prisoners. He is only allowed family visits for one hour each month. In an account smuggled out of jail, Waheed describes horrific scenes of torture inflicted on himself and others, including children.
The Maldives is renowned for the beauty of its unspoilt beaches. But according to reports from those still detained and released prisoners of conscience, such as Nasheed, torture is routinely carried out on these same beaches enjoyed by the islands’ tourists.
Please send appeals requesting the release of Naushad Waheed to
President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom,
The President’s Palace,
Maafannu Theemuge, Malé 2002,
Republic of Maldives
Fax: 00 960 32 55 00
Originally posted with the url: www.englishpen.org/writersinprison/prisoners/naushadwaheed/