Prisoners of Conscience
in the Maldives
Christian Women Arrested
and Interrogated
From the Evangelical Alliance of Sri Lanka:

On June 18th, 1998 and the days following, the Maldivian authorities
began to arrest and interrogate those suspected of being Christian
believers.

We are particularly concerned about the safety of two young women,
ANEESA HUSSAIN, aged 32, and AMINATH MOONISA, aged 17, both of
Pareeru-ge, Male, Republic of Maldives. They have both been detained by
the Maldivian authorities since June 18th.

We have reliable information that Aneesa Hussain has been physically
assaulted and her life threatened.

According to the Maldivian newspaper *Haveeru* (21st June 1998), they
have been arrested because they "were discovered to be involved in
spreading Christianity." These two young women are believing Christians
who are not willing to give up their faith. They have committed no
crime, and are being imprisoned only because of their belief.

We know of other Maldivians who are also being held or are under house
arrest because of their actual or suspected Christian beliefs or
associations.

We are opposed to this denial of human rights and persecution of people
solely on the grounds of their peaceful and conscientious expression of
religious faith.

*1. PRAY for the safety and encouragement of Aneesa and Moonisa and
other believers in the Maldives.

*2. WRITE to the Maldivian authorities. In your letter, keep to the
above facts only and speak respectfully, but register your formal
complaint. Ask about these two women and your desire to verify that
they are not being mistreated.

Ask that they and all the other prisoners of conscience in the Maldives
be released.

Please write your comments to the High Commission for Maldives in your
respective country, or at the United Nations. 



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