Hunger strikers return home

Two of the most prominent hunger strikers, Shuaib Ali and Mohamed Ziyad (Ziyattey), have been transferred from Dhoonidoo Prison to house arrest in Male’, it was reported yesterday evening.

Both prisoners, arrested after the 12-13th August pro-democracy rally, had been in jail without charge for 96 days. Under the terms of their house arrest, they are forbidden from receiving any visitors or making external communications.

Both prisoners have reportedly suffered horrific torture at the hands of NSS officers.

On Black Friday, Mohamed Ziyad was beaten so badly by NSS officers he passed out. Unable to walk, the NSS dragged him into their van by his arms. Mr Ziyad was also reportedly “maltreated” by police at Maafushi Prison on 19 September 2004, a witness said.

Shuaib Ali was blindfolded and severely beaten on his genitals on Black Friday. Mr Ali’s treatment in detention was so bad that he begged his wife to go to the Maldivian Human Rights Commission and report it.

Both of the prisoners were leading figures in the Dhoonidoo Jail hunger-strike, which ended this week after 10 days, although it was reported that Mohamed Ziyad never broke the strike. Both prisoners are known to be physically weak after their ordeal.