South Asians for Human Rights (SAHR) condemns Thursday’s arrest and treatment of Mohamed Latheef.

Mr Latheef, a former Human Rights Ambassador for the Maldives and co-founder of the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), was mistreated and unnecessarily detained by police who kicked him with their boots, and forced him to sit in an uncomfortable position while being transported, after his arrest. He has since been released.

SAHR condemns such treatment of Mr Latheef and any other person being arrested by the police. While Mr Latheef was arrested at the site of yesterday’s MDP protest, he was not taking part in the protests, but was trying to come to the aid of three women who were being harassed by police.
Since the regime change in the Maldives in February this year, MDP supporters have protested what they deem to be an illegal seizure of power, and have been demanding Presidential elections as soon as possible.

The protest turned violent with MDP supporters and the police clashing. The international organisation, Committee to Protect Journalists, claims that four journalists were injured during the protest.

SAHR hopes that the peoples’ right to assemble and protest peacefully will not be infringed upon, in the light of MDP claims that 100 protestors were arrested.

On behalf of South Asians for Human Rights,

Hina Jilani                                                                                              Nimalka Fernando
Chair                                                                                                         Co-Chair