Youth Rights Detained in the Maldives

Safaath Ahmed President of Women and Democracy and Youth protestors, who took the streets were arrested and detained by the Maldives Police Services today 10th February 2018. They were calling from the President of the Maldives to implement the Supreme Court ruling, abide by the constitution and uphold rule of law.

The youth are the future leaders of our country, facing intimidation and infringement of rights as a means of in sighting fear to ensure a culture where freedom of expression and democratic rights are hindered.

Among those arrested with Safaath Ahmed (President, Women and Democracy) today are Mickail Naseem (President of the Youth-Wing, Maldivian Democratic Party), Abdullah Anil (Youth-Wing Member, Maldivian Democratic Party), Rayyan Jamaal (Youth-Wing Member, Maldivian Democratic Party) and Aishath Sheena Mohamed (Lawyer, Youth-Wing Member, Maldivian Democratic Party).

We remain very concerned about the well being of those detained.

We, the Voice of Women call for the immediate release of all detainees who were peacefully exercising their right to freedom of expression as granted by the Maldivian constitution and outlined in international treaties the Maldives is party to. We are also deeply concerned by the Maldivian government’s regressive policies curtailing the empowerment of youth, women and their overall attitude towards protestors.

We also strongly condemn the violent means used by the police to disperse the protests and the complete disregard given by the police to the violence committed by pro-government gangs.

The government has thrown the country into a crisis by refusing to abide by the Supreme Court ruling issued on 1st February 2018. The apex court ordered the release and retrial of opposition politicians, including former president Mohamed Nasheed. The court also ordered the reinstatement of 12 parliamentarians who had been stripped of their seats by President Yameen for floor crossing, saying their removal was unconstitutional. Since then the President has also arrested two Justices of the Supreme court as well as have been cracking down on family members of the opposition leaders.

Today’s arrest happened in the wake of the international community expressing grave concern about the undemocratic assault on the institutions of the Maldives by President Yameen and his Government.