On 24 June 2010 I was arrested by Raa Atoll Ungoofaaru Police Station where I was charged with “attempted suicide by overdozing on less than a gram of hash oil, atheism and homosexuality.”
However, quite strangely, only a vague reference to “drug abuse” appeared on the Court Order for my arrest.
While the officers of the Maldives Police Service at Male’ Custodial were very kind to me – understandably, due to my parents refusing to allow my transfer to house arrest due to the gravity of the charges – I feel vulnerable against corrupt elements, the remnants of former President Gayoom’s dictatorship, rampant in the Maldives Judiciary and other law enforcement agencies.
I also feel defenceless against extremists of all sorts and the extreme ideas prevailing in Maldives society, especially in relation to previous contributions to Minivan News.
Hence, I would greatly appreciate if you can help me find temporary asylum in a friendly democratic country until I feel it is safe for me to return to Maldives and continue my investigative work as a freelance journalist and independent blogger promoting human rights.
Thanking you in advance for your kind cooperation.
Ismail Khilath Rasheed
CC: Human Rights Commission of Maldives
Reporters Without Borders
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