Court fines Shafeeg for defaming Gayoom by publishing book on torture during his rule

Local historian Ahmed Shafeeg has been ordered to pay up to MVR 5000 (US$324) in compensation after the Civil Court on Tuesday found him guilty of defaming former President Mamoon Abdul Gayoom.

Gayoom sued Shafeeg for politically-motivated slander over a book he released in 2010,  in which he claimed that 111 Maldivian citizens were held in custody and tortured under Gayoom’s administration.

The judge ruled in favor of Gayoom in the absence of Shafeeg, noting that the defendant had failed to present himself or a representative to the hearings despite the multiple court summons and attempts by the police to bring him to he court.

Shafeeg has to pay up to MVR 5000 withing one month from the date of the ruling, as a compensation for the damages caused to Gayoom’s character, according to the court.

Chronicles of torture

Shafeeg, now 83, was held in solitary confinement for 83 days in 1995 together with three other writers, including Hassan Ahmed Maniku, Ali Moosa Didi and Mohamed Latheef.

Shafeeg contends that 50 of his diaries containing evidence relating to the deaths of the 111 Maldivians were confiscated during a raid by 15 armed men. He was ultimately released by Gayoom with without charge, and was told by the investigating officer to write a letter of appreciation to the then-President for the pardon.

During the launch of Shafeeg’s book, titled “A Day in the Life of Ahmed Shafeeg”, then-President Mohamed Nasheed observed that he knew the events chronicled by Shafeeg very well.

“Back then, from 1989 and 1990 onward, I spent a very long time – three years in total – in jail. Of that I spent 18 months in solitary confinement, and nine of those months in the tin cell,” he said.

All Maldivian rulers had employed fear to govern, Nasheed said, and he had always believed that Gayoom had him arrested and tortured to serve as a cautionary tale as the former president and his senior officials were already aware of the intent of “a whole generation” to topple his government since the early 80s.

“So the decision to put me through every imaginable torture in the world from the very beginning as an example to all those people was made, in my view, not because of any animosity President Maumoon had towards me personally,” Nasheed said.

He added that Gayoom alone could not be blamed for all the human rights abuses that occurred under his watch.

Nasheed meanwhile also described Gayoom’s decision to take legal action against the historian Shafeeg, who has lasting physical and mental damage from his ordeal, as “going beyond the limits.”

Nasheed said: “I ask President Maumoon very sincerely and respectfully, don’t do this,” Nasheed said. “Go to Shafeeg. Go and ask for his forgiveness. This is not the time to come out and say ‘I’m going to sue Shafeeg.’ If you want to sue Shafeeg now, you will have to sue me. That is because I will repeat what Shafeeg is saying fourfold.”

Together with allegations of corruption in Gayoom’s administration, such as those flagged in audit reports, allegations of torture remain one of the most politically divisive topics in the Maldives.

Since Nasheed took office after beating Gayoom’s 30 year-old autocratic rule in 2008, public opinions – very strongly held – oscillated between a desire for prosecuting Gayoom and his close allies for the torture and corruption and a desire to move on and reconciliation. Nasheed openly supported the latter option to be magnanimous.

However, after his controversial resignation on February 7, which he insisted was forced by an opposition backed military-police coup, Nasheed told Time Magazine that allowing former dictator Maumoon Abdul Gayoom to live in peace following the 2008 election was a wrong decision.

“The lesson is we didn’t deal with Gayoom. That’s the obvious lesson. And my romantic ideas of how to deal with a dictator were wrong. I will agree with that,” Nasheed told Time, in a striking reversal of his magnanimity in 2008.

The court decision in favor of Gayoom also comes less than a week after the UNHRC called for the government to establish an independent commission of inquiry to investigate “all human rights violations, including torture that took place in the State party prior to 2008 and provide compensation to the victims.”


24 thoughts on “Court fines Shafeeg for defaming Gayoom by publishing book on torture during his rule”

  1. I can't believe this. Does this not prove dictator is back and will revenge all his rivals ?

  2. When we have a respected judiciary, we are going to sue Gayoom even inhis grave for killing 115 people including many kids.

  3. One day Ahmed Shafeeg would be celebrated throughout our nation as a national hero.

  4. To all reading this…

    that was his wish … @Shaz .. I asked him a few months back what he wanted now he said he wanted to die in Jail… at first I thought probably not the right answer coming from him in his state but the thing with him is you need to talk to him Dhivehi/Shakspherian terms
    and after much thought
    what he said/meant “is” he’d rather go down fighting ..

    Now I don’t speak for him but … this is coming from the same person who once wanted live in harmony when I briefly knew him … when I was a child

    So Mister Nasheed

    you should not give up on your

    “Romantic Idea's”(however insane it may sound to others) as result of One Days Mistakes

    I found a quote once which went something along the line of

    ” …don’t let your anger cloud your judgement ”

    Its a life lesson I had to learn the hard way I'd hate see you fall in to the same trap

    (there this should make more sense than my earlier comment)

  5. You brainwashed MDP dorks, you people are too much hehehe

    Shafeeg is a coward who did not have enough proof to charge gayoom and still made a book in which he claimed, i repeat claimed that the gayoom administration killed 111 people, my goodness??!!

    what happened to the so called civilized forward thinking people(who claims that embracing a religion interrupts and halts their development)
    in this case???!!
    civilized people does not work such cases like this???

    Where is the proof, where is the evidence??? If the evidence is the book, then i can also write a book about seyku Nasheed and his gangs killing thousands of people of bodufulhadhoo!

    Seyku nasheed and his ignorant tactics, kekeke

  6. Talk about enslaving your own supporters??
    and in such an old condition???
    where is UN human rights council??? kekeke

  7. If there is a conspiracy then they(those who did it) will make sure there will be as less evidence as possible.

  8. Where is that notorious torturer Adam Zahir who tortured Shafeeq and his friends.

  9. Shafeeg is not only talking about torture, he's claiming to have witnessed the deaths of 100s of people, for gods sake!!!

    BTW, where are the 100s of victims family and friends, they don't seem to care about getting the due justice
    or is it just shafeeg who saw all these killings (in his dreams and seyku nasheeds lullabies, i presume!!)

  10. How do you know if he does not have classified information about the killings ? If there is a conspiracy then the next step is to prove it. You can only fail if he cannot prove it. But the Don will not let it be proved if those were killed, right ?

  11. Ohh god. . I can't imagine what it feels like to be a victim of torture under the state care. To my eyes he is the real hero and would always will be . Although the international media is calling for compensating the victims of torture, this guy is being further looted by the courts. May Allah grant him patience, strength to get through this and janna in the hereafter

  12. It's noteworthy that Mr. Shafeeg made many other allegations in his 'A Day from the Life of Ahmed Shafeeg'. They include allegations of unlawful detention and physical torture directed at his own person, psychological torture and intimidation directed at members of his family, unlawful confiscation of personal property, just to list a few. Former President Maumoon found issue only with the claim of 111 deaths in prison. Interesting fact to note is that Mr. Shafeeg claimed in his book that the diaries that were forcibly taken from his house contained reports of 111 deaths. Shafeeg also claimed in his book that he believes his diaries contain truths and falsehoods, because he simply records down whatever he hears as he hears it. So, Shafeeg did not claim there were definitely 111 deaths in fact, but that he was told on different occassions of 111 deaths that he recorded down in his diaries.

  13. Maumoon has confiscated his diaries which can prove his case, and numerous others against Maumoon. He had recovered one such dairy from NSS during President Nasheed's presidency, which suggests the rest were destroyed. He was recording daily happening in the Maldives, in a historians perspective giving comments and reasoning on these happenings.
    These collection of records are undoubtedly the most complete records on what happened in the Maldives for decades.
    Shafeeq should seeks justice in high court, and Supreme Court if it fail there, and surely justice will be done on the Judgement day.
    This bias ruling by the Courts of Law is unacceptable, as every body here in Maldives knows Maumoon is a ruthless ruler.
    Maldives Government soon has to form a Commission to investigate on Maumoon brutality. If this commission proves Maumoon is indeed responsible for the tortures, he should pay the fine back to Shafeeq.

  14. For god's sake, LOL
    you of all believe this(and i thought you left religion so that you do not associate yourself in such feeble stories like the tales of the prophets that we believe in. guess you believe in the all mighty dear leader Nasheed and his stories now and left science instead of him kekeke) (talk about your brain power!!??)

    if Nasheed had classified information (classified as in the "conspiracy theory" kekeke)would he have not splashed it on the media in his three year rule.(apparently this was all that happened in his rule, listening to politicians talking( through MNDF and Police- no wonder they hate him so much) trying to prove all other politicians and sheikhs were fake and only Seyku Nasheed was the superior being)
    and what about Nasheeds commission which was established to investigate maumoons torture and corruption(incidentally the commission itself became infested with corruption)(who knows you might have received some of the money by looking at the way you work here Kekeke)

    this is why i say Seyku Nasheed is just a dumb ignorant??!!

    PS; BTW Don was right about you! you are a hysterical crazy lady, probably divorced without children like velezinee(i myself saw how much cigarettes she smoked) or even if you had, they might be living away from you so i presume your only aim in life is believing in what Seyku Nasheed says and making him the dear old spiritual leader of gamaaru party.
    Gosh, i have my very own god to believe in and you just have a dumb ignorant human who's stark raving mad for power!!!??

  15. Guys, this is the Maldives. Anything can happen, and nobody can do sh*t about it.

    Corruption, blatant ones at that, has literally crippled the constitution, the government etc...

    You are worried about this?? This is a speck in the ocean, as far as the scandals are / have been going on in broad day light here.

  16. @ Shimy

    Wow, Shimy, Wow. lets put you in jail and torture you and see what you have to say. Your venom is unbelievable. lesson to us all. If we allow people like to have a say in our country's future, we can imagine how it will be!! Evil pure evil.

  17. @shimy on Wed, 1st Aug 2012 12:27 AM

    According to this article, "Gayoom sued Shafeeg for politically-motivated slander over a book he released in 2010, in which he claimed that 111 Maldivian citizens were held in custody and tortured under Gayoom’s administration."

    I don't see any reference to the "deaths of 100s of people" that you are talking about. If Shafeeq personally witnessed 111 people who were in custody and who were being tortured, then surely, that requires an investigation and certainly not the shooting of the messenger!

    Shafeeq was incarcerated for 83 days in 1995 and he would have been around 66 years old back then. Why did Gayyoom lock up a 66 year old and release him without charge? What was the crime that Shafeeq committed that deserved this incarceration?

    Now, based on historical evidence, it's highly likely that Shafeeq witnessed a large number of people held in custody along with himself. There is overwhelming evidence of torture of inmates during Gayyooms 30 year dictatorship. None of these have been the subject of a proper investigation.

    Isn't this all enough to suggest that this Court ruling is a mockery of the justice system?

  18. i wonder what all these maumoon defenders will have to say when he is (Insha Allah)
    found guiltty in international courts of all of these and many many other human rights violations and plenty other crimes.

  19. Shafeeq is right,No of death may not be the same. The first person Gayoom administration killed was, Waafiru, Chaviyani, and many was tourture, perlized.Non stop tourture was in the Prison. Evaan Naseem, and the People he killed 2003 in the Prison firing. Inbetween may inmates was hanged, this deaths was not investigated, cause hanging poit was too short for a person to get hanged.Ganhingun, Chaine jehun,family roolaalun, geayga bandu kurun, in a small room, puttign others in punishment.Adahgodi jehun chainaa eku adagodeega olaalun. feb 7-8 Naseedu ge sarukaa vattalun, adeega huregen,Rahyitunge laari yah hiyanai therivun, Nasheedu ge feekalaa kamun Maymoon kuveri nukureethaa. Mi huri haakamehge Zinmaa naganjehay nee Gayoom.
    Rahjjey ge minivan kan India meehunah duvas gadakah dookohlun.Drug fethurun, Faahisu hurihaa kameh fethurun, Yes, Gayoom sikudi dhovunu mee hunna kah nufennaa ne. Mi haaru vess hurihaa hama nujehumuge Baanee akee Gayoom. Gayoom ge mach saabithu kuran gehay ekka meh nethay, hurihaa kameh vanee saabithu vefa. Hukum kurun noon ehen gotheh netayyyyy.

  20. Gayoomu ge difendarun ebathi be, e ee meenaa ge aailaa othy bisaluvaafa. Nikamethi meehun ge aailaa thah roolaa fa birth control kuri veemaa defendarun madeh nuwaane.Mee varah vissnai ge Gayoom raavaafa huri kantha.

  21. for gods sake! i believe in god only and not a dumb human who's only aim is to

  22. whose only aim is to gain power! and no, i am not a gayoom supporter and fanatic like you people are for seyku Nasheed! in fact i supported Nasheed when he was campaigning for the elections but soon found out what a stupid decision it was.
    i believe in evidence, proof(which a civilized nation counts on to establish such cases)

    This is why people don't believe in Nasheed now. His mouth speaks more than his actions. why can't you people see this!! for what i have seen from here is the use and abuse of an old man for Seyku Nasheeds own gains.

    PS; Ahmed bin suva...
    read paragraph 6 and look at how minivan took the advantage of gaining attention to the paragraph ????

  23. @Hassan
    you can imagine me as evil but this is the truth??
    and speaking of evil, who's destroying the country for the sake of power?? me or Seyku Nasheed???


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