Further information on UA: 368/11 Index: ASA 29/001/2012 Maldives Date: 13 January 2012
CAMPAIGNER FOR RELIGIOUS TOLERANCE RELEASED A Maldivian activist who was attacked and detained on 10 December 2011 for organis ing a peaceful protest calling for religious tolerance was released on 6 January . His attackers remain at large.
Ismail "Khilath" Rasheed was assaulted by about 10 men opposing a peaceful demonstration he had organized in the capital, Malé, on 10 December. He sustained a skull fracture after being hit with stones, but was then arrested by police a few days later.
Ismail "Khilath" Rasheed, a Muslim who practices Sufi beliefs, was released on 6 January after an investigation into his involvement in the protest concluded with no charges against him.
Maldives police say Ismail "Khilath" Rasheed was detained because his call for religious tolerance is “unconstitutional”. The arrest came after the opposition Adhaalath Party, which advocates implementation of a strict interpretation of religious law, wrote to the police urging them to take action against him for organizing the protest.
Under the 2008 Maldives constitution, Islam is the only religion that Maldivian nationals can practice.
Conservative religious groups say only a strict interpretation of Sunni Islam is allowed under the constitution. In a political campaign against the President, opposition politicians have sided with these groups.
Many thanks to all who sent appeals. Amnesty International is in dialogue with the Maldivian government urging that the perpetrators of this crime are brought to justice, but no further action from the UA network is required at this time.
This is the first update of UA 368/11. Further information: http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/ASA29/002/2011/en