Maldives: two environmental activist detained over __�coup plot___Event
- Initial Date
- Sep 7, 2016
- Event Description
September 08 18:30 2016 by Omkar Khandekar Two men detained on Wednesday in connection with an alleged plot to overthrow the government have been released without charges. Ibrahim Shahiban Ahmed and Mohamed Shamin Ali, who work for various environmental NGOs, were detained during a raid of the building that houses the Maldives Independent. Shahiban said that the police arrived at their work-cum-residential apartment at Henveiru Hulhugali around 4.15 pm. The personnel included a team from the specialist operations and forensics departments. A warrant they carried authorised a search of the premises for evidence of a plot "to overthrow the elected government, get external help to overthrow the elected government, try to create hatred between the public and the state institutions, and plan to create discord and unrest in Mal_." The building also houses a law firm, a college, a human rights NGO and a travel agency. The raid came hours after an explosive Al Jazeera documentary featuring an interview with this publication's editor was posted online. The expos_ included serious allegations of corruption and abuse of power against President Abdulla Yameen. Shahiban said that during their search, the police claimed to have discovered a piece of paper in the apartment with a handwritten plan of organising a gathering of around 700 people. They also found a petition from 2015 calling for the release of jailed former President Mohamed Nasheed, who was sentenced to 13 years on a terrorism charge. Both Shahiban and Shamin said that they had no idea where they documents came from. "The work area of our apartment is usually used by several professionals and NGOs for their meetings. They often end up storing some of their belongings here," Shahiban said After the four-hour-long search, the police confiscated hard disks, mobile phones and laptops from the apartment. They also took the pair to the headquarters where they were told to return on Thursday for questioning. "We were questioned on where the documents came from and the people who visit the apartment. We cooperated with them as we have nothing to hide," said Shamin. After an hour of questioning, they were released without any restrictions on their movements or travel. The police were not responding to calls at the time of publication. Shahinda Ismail, executive director of the Maldivian Democracy Network, whose office in the building was also searched, called the raid an intimidation tactic by the government. The police later said the building was raided based on "reports of incitement to violence."
- Impact of Event
- Gender of HRD
- (Arbitrary) Arrest and Detention
- Intimidation and Threats
- Rights Concerned
- Right to liberty and security
- Environmental rights defender
- Monitoring Status
- Event Location
- Summary for Publications
On 7 September 2016, Ibrahim Shahiban Ahmed and Mohamed Shamin Ali, two environmental activists, were detained for a couple of hours over __�coup plot', during a police raid of the building that houses the Maldives Independent, Maldivian Democracy Network and a law firm in Mal _, Maldives. The two activists have been released without charges.