Reporters Without Borders is concerned about the fate of four cyberdissidents who were arrested on 13 August 2004 when police broke up a demonstration. Mohamed Zaki, Ahmad Didi, Fathimath Nisreen and Naushad Waheed are being held in conditions described as “inhumane” by the Maldives human rights commission. Receive email alerts October 13, 2004 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Concern about the fate of four cyberdissidents two months after their arrest Organisation RSF_en July 15, 2020 Find out more September 12, 2018 Find out more News Help by sharing this information RSF seeks press freedom pledges from Maldives presidential candidates RSF calls for open trial of Maldivian blogger’s accused murderers Reporters Without Borders expressed concern about four cyberdissidents who were arrested on 13 August 2004 as police broke up a pro-democracy demonstration.The worldwide press freedom organisation said it was especially worried about their prison conditions and called for their immediate release.Those who were arrested were: Mohamed Zaki, Ahmad Didi, Fathimath Nisreen and Naushad Waheed.The organisation also called on the European Commission to put into effect a resolution passed by the parliament in mid-September on freezing all financial aid to the Maldives.”President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom continues to rely on hypocrisy in his dealings with the international community. He has indeed just lifted the state of emergency, but most of the demonstrators who were arrested on 13 August are still being held.””We particularly fear for the life of Ahmad Didi, who is currently in the emergency room of the government hospital” in the capital Malé, said Reporters Without Borders.Didi, who suffers from heart problems, is reportedly in a critical condition. He has been beaten several times and was held in solitary confinement at Dhoonidhoo prison. His wife has been able to visit him only once and in the presence of police officers.Fathimath Nisreen is also imprisoned in Dhoonidhoo. Her mother, the only person who has been allowed to see her, said that she had been ill-treated but declined to give any further details.Mohamed Zaki was put under house arrest on 6 October after spending a month at Maafushi prison and several weeks in hospital. Naushad Waheed was initially held at Malé police station but then transferred to Dhoonidhoo.The official Maldives human rights commission has said after visiting them that the prisoners ‘treatment was “inhumane” and their families say they have been unable able to find any lawyers prepared to defend them. The state of emergency declared after the demonstrations was only lifted on 10 October, under pressure from US and European delegations. Nevertheless, the European Commission has until now refused to apply sanctions recommended by the parliament – freezing of all aid and putting out a warning about the situation to tourists planning to visit the archipelago.Several thousand demonstrators gathered in the capital on the evening of 12 August to call for democratic reform. The peaceful demonstration was brutally suppressed the following day on the orders of President Gayoom. He also ordered a curfew and cut Internet access throughout the archipelago for two days. The four cyberdissidents, who had been placed under house arrest shortly beforehand, nevertheless managed to take part in the demonstration.The regime of President Gayoom is one of the world’s most repressive countries in terms of press freedom both on the Internet and for traditional media. British firm Cable & Wireless manages the Internet service on the archipelago.Mohamed Zaki, Ahmad Didi, Ibrahim Lutfy and his assistant Fathimath Nisreen were arrested in January 2002, for their work on Sandhaanu, an email news bulletin that exposed human rights abuses and corruption in the Maldives.They were charged with “defamation” and “attempting to overthrow the government”. Zaki, Lutfy and Didi were sentenced to life imprisonment on 7 July 2002. Fathimath Nisreen, who was only 22 at the time of the trial, was sentenced to ten years. Lutfy managed to escape from prison on 24 May 2003 and now lives in Switzerland.The painter and political dissident Naushad Waheed was also arrested on 9 December 2001, for sending an email to Amnesty International. He was sentenced on 12 October 2002 to 15 years in prison pour committing “an anti-government act”. He has been tortured on several occasions. MaldivesAsia – Pacific Maldivian president’s comms chief accused of sexually harassing journalist Follow the news on Maldives News News News to go further MaldivesAsia – Pacific April 23, 2018 Find out more
By Julieta Pelcastre/Diálogo October 18, 2017 In September 2017, Mexico dealt with two large-scale earthquakes in less than 15 days. The first, with a magnitude of 8.3 on the Richter scale, struck on September 7th, leaving 100 dead in the southeast of Mexico. The second quake, on September 19th, with a magnitude 7.1, led to 320 fatalities and massive material losses in the nation’s center. In the face of the disaster, the international community immediately showed its support for Mexico. The Mexican government accepted aid from various countries and from every region of the world in order to assist the population affected by the second earthquake, which shook the states of Guerrero, Mexico, Morelos, Puebla, and Mexico City. “As Mexicans, we are moved by the countless demonstrations of immediate solidarity from the international community,” said Foreign Relations Secretary Luis Videgaray. Highly specialized aid and heavy machinery needed for mounting a quick response was brought in on military and commercial planes from 23 nations around the world. From the outset of the search-and-rescue operations, Mexico had technical support from the United Nations (UN) Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Their teams are part of the UN’s Disaster Assessment and Coordination, which identified the specific assistance that Mexico needed in order to support its search-and-rescue efforts. The outpouring of support reached Mexico in coordination with its National Civil Defense System and the Mexico City government. The assistance included 500 people and more than 400 tons of humanitarian aid consisting of canned food, water, basic necessities, medical supplies, field tents, electrical plants, machinery, work equipment, and tools. The presence of friends “Our friends have made themselves present during hard times, and we have been humbled to see that Mexico has true friends all over the world,” Secretary Videgaray added. “Your help can mean the difference between life and death for many people.” El Salvador was one of the first countries to arrive in Mexico. A highly trained multidisciplinary team from its Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) Group arrived in one of the Salvadoran Air Force’s Douglas C-47 turboprop planes. “Because we also live in a region that is quite seismically active, the Salvadoran Air Force has ground, air, and naval units permanently ready to provide assistance domestically and internationally,” Salvadoran Air Force General Carlos Jaime Mena Torres, the deputy minister of Defense for El Salvador, told Diálogo. “We are very proud to be the first country to arrive in Mexico in support of this contingency.” Several other nations have also joined the cause in order to provide the necessary aid. The United States, with the Los Angeles County Fire Department’s USAR team, and Japan, with a brigade made up of various corps, provided support with specialized equipment for collapsed buildings and machinery such as circular saws, high-capacity hydraulic jacks, inflatable devices for lifting debris, and geophones for searching over large swathes of terrain. Spain showed its solidarity by sending over a Military Emergency Unit contingent. And civil defense members from Israel’s Home Front Command Rescue Unit assisted with the process of reviewing the damage to buildings. This outpouring of support was aided by rescue teams from Colombia, Panama, Honduras, Ecuador, Chile, and Costa Rica, sent to locate people trapped under debris in collapsed buildings. Canada also sent rescue personnel and 1,500 field tents. In addition, several civilian businesses and associations donated financial resources to support the aid efforts for the states that were most damaged by the earthquake. “With such an outpouring of solidarity, Mexico is grateful to its brothers and sisters around the world, and it reaffirms its conviction that only by working together can we overcome the challenges that face our nation today,” the Secretariat of Foreign Relations reported. Recognition for Mexico “This international support is recognition of the way in which Mexico has extended its hand to other nations during natural disasters,” Yadira Gálvez Salvador, a security and defense issues analyst at the Autonomous National University of Mexico (UNAM per its Spanish acronym), told Diálogo. “It’s a showing of reciprocity.” Recently, Mexico assisted the United States with a group of Red Cross volunteers who worked in shelters after Hurricane Harvey passed through. Similarly, 130 rescuers and more than four tons of humanitarian aid and equipment were sent to Ecuador in April 2016, when a magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck the central part of that South American country. Challenges and strengthening “This aid allows us to measure our personnel’s level of operational readiness,” Gen. Mena remarked. “Also, [it lets us test] the capacity of our aircraft to detect any vulnerability and then go about finding solutions, whether in equipment or in training.” “This kind of humanitarian aid shows today’s challenges for international and interagency coordination during natural disasters: nations are looking to build a more effective coordination and response capacity during an emergency or a natural disaster, and they’re looking for how to create more efficiency,” Gálvez added. “The aid given to Mexico was managed in an extremely efficient way.” “The military needs to be better prepared, trained, and equipped in order to react in a positive way and help save lives,” Gen. Mena concluded. “The armed forces must get stronger because natural disasters are a constant throughout the Americas and all over the world.”
Some others also criticised the coaches for running Nigeria’s pre-championships fastest athlete in the pool, Patience Okon George in the first leg, arguing that she should have anchored the team.â€œI can understand the ordinary people on the streets but not former Nigeria internationals who should have strived to find out why Egwin did not run. The truth is Egwin was not fit to run on the day as she complained of stomach upset among other complaints.â€œThe problem started in the semi-finals and she barely warmed up for the race. We decided to gamble on her because there was no alternative. This informed our decision to ask for Abike to come so that we could at least have an alternative if Egwin does not recover on time.â€œUnfortunately, she didn’t and we had to use the only option available and she didn’t disappoint. Our chances of getting a medal were reduced the day we lost Margaret Bamgbose, one of the three girls who competed in the open 400m to injury. We knew it would be a herculean task because some of the other teams rested athletes for the final but we couldn’t.â€œSo people used the time ran in the semi-final to automatically assume we could have won if the time was repeated in the final. Britain ran faster in the semis (3:24.74) than in the final (3:25.00) and still won a silver medal despite of the fact that they brought in a fresh leg,400m hurdler, Elidih Doyle in place of Perri Shakes-Drayton while Poland who came third (3:25.41) introduced two fresh legs, Aleksandra Gaworska and Justyna Swiety in place of Patrycja Wyciszkiewicz and Martyna Dabrowska.â€œTwo years ago we ran 3:23 in the semis but ran 3:25 in the final and we didn’t change any athlete. If we were able to rest George and Yinka Ajayi for example the result may have been different but we didn’t have that luxury. My colleagues who should understand better should not turn to armchair critics,â€ said Okon who also reacted to the criticism that the best athlete in the pool should have anchored the team.â€œFrom what happened in the open 400m, Bamgbose and Ajayi were clearly our fastest legs. Bamgbose ran 51.57 seconds in the first round heat while Ajayi ran 51.58 seconds against Okon George’s 51.83 seconds. In the semi-final Ajayi ran 52.10 seconds to emerge the fastest against Bamgbose (52.23 seconds) and Okon George (52.60 seconds). So we fielded our fastest athlete to anchor the team,â€ concludes the ex international who is also AFN board member.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram IAAF WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS FALLOUTHead Coach of Team Nigeria to the just ended 16th IAAF World Championships in London, Gabriel Okon, has insisted that most of the people commenting on the selection of the quartet that ran in the final of the women’s 4x400m final in London were ignorant of what happened in the lead up to the race.Many critics blamed the coaches for fielding Abike Egbeniyi who arrived London from Nigeria for the competition barely 32 hours to the race and insisted Emerald Egwin who ran in the semi-finals where the team ran 3:25.40 seconds should have been retained.
Gabriel Jesus scored twice as Manchester City got back to winning ways in the Premier League with a comfortable victory at Burnley.City had won only once in their previous five games in all competitions to start the day 11 points behind leaders Liverpool.But they were convincing at Turf Moor with Jesus curling home a fine opener for his first goal in 11 games.The Brazilian then volleyed home Bernardo Silva’s cross after the break.Midfielder Rodri added a stunning third from 20 yards and substitute Riyad Mahrez netted a fourth to take them back into second place in the league.Robbie Brady blasted in a late consolation for the Clarets, his first Premier League goal in more than two years.The match had the unusual kick-off time of 20:15 GMT because it was being streamed live online by Amazon.Leicester could move back above the champions if they get a point or more at home to Watford on Wednesday. Source: BBC