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Amnesty Concerned Over Torture Of Maldivian Prisoners

July 25, 1995

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) _ Amnesty International expressed concern today over reports that political prisoners are being tortured and forced into confessions at a detention center in the Maldives.

The Maldives is an island chain south of India where President Maummon Abdul Gayoom bans all political parties and has ruled a government that many people regard as a dictatorship since 1978.

The government often refuses to comment for several days on such reports, but the one released Tuesday included its reaction to an earlier Amnesty document about the same two prisoners, Ahamed Shafeeq and Ali Moosa Didi. It said they were arrested on criminal charges and are not ``prisoners of conscience.″

The Amnesty statement said some prisoners, after denying charges, were held in solitary confinement for up to two years in cells only five feet by eight feet.

They also were reportedly kept in handcuffs that greatly restricted their ability to eat and keep themselves clean, the London-based Amnesty said.

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