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MDP appeals for the release of Ms Aishath Aniya

Press Release

MDP appeals for the release of Ms Aishath Aniya, Deputy Secretary General of the party

MDP/2006/PR-53, Date: 17 April 2006 (Monday)

MDP is very concerned over the health of Ms Aishath Aniya who was arrested for her participation in the peaceful demonstration of 14 April 2006 which was violently crushed by the police. She is reported to be on a hunger strike since her arrest.

Ms Aniya is the mother of three children, two minors and an eighteen year old child. Her family has not been able to contact her since her arrest and her children, parents and relatives are extremely worried and saddened by her arrest and news of her hunger strike. Ms Aniya has as yet not had access to a lawyer either.

Ms Aniya, Deputy Secretary General of MDP was exercising her constitutional right to peaceful protest when arrested. MDP cannot comprehend any reason for her arrest and continued detention other than to intimidate women from working for MDP and from joining the ranks of the masses of men who have begun to openly oppose President Gayoom?s regime. A female secretary of MDP, Ms Shiuna was also arrested a few weeks ago and is still in detention.

MDP appeals to President Gayoom to release Ms Aniya and to immediately allow her contact with her family and lawyer.

MDP also reiterates its appeal to Gayoom to respect the constitutional rights of Maldivians and to end his policy of intimidating women from exercising their constitutional rights.

Statement issued on behalf of the Maldivian Democratic Party by Secretary General Hamid Abdul Ghafoor.

ENDS

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