“Our beaches are lovely and it’s really a paradise, but we Maldivians are being tortured here”

first_img April 23, 2018 Find out more MaldivesAsia – Pacific At a press conference on 1 March 2004, organised by Reporters Without Borders and Amnesty International in Geneva, journalist Ibrahim Lutfy told his story for the first time since his escape from prison. Now living in exile in Switzerland, Ibrahim Lutfy spoke out against the jailing of his journalist colleagues, torture and repression on this “paradise island”.Ibrahim Lutfy sent us a summary of his statements and reflections on the current situation in Maldives. September 12, 2018 Find out more RSF_en News News Maldivian president’s comms chief accused of sexually harassing journalist Help by sharing this information “Before answering questions I briefed on two different presentations which I prepared for the conference.- Why Sandhaanu, a clandestine Internet e-mail magazine?- Torture on Paradise, Back of the sunny side of life.Before answering the first question I said I am not a politician neither I belong nor represent any political organisation. In spite of that I was asked, if I am working for a post in next government or aiming for a parliamentary seat. I said NO. I am a person who is very much conscious of the problems we have and trying to help solve them.When asked whether a boycott of tourism would help reform, I said, “I feel a trade embargo or boycotting tourism is immediately not necessary, but a little pressure could help. Our country is very vulnerable, the only industry we have is tourism and fishing.” Further I was asked if tourism were boycotted general public would suffer? I said that the first victims would certainly be them.Another reporter asked me if the promised reforms, which are taking, place due to international pressure and the media converge, be respected and how long would they last? “In the constitution there are good things written, and the President’s promises in the Parliament opening session on February 26 are really nice. But the problem with him is that his words and actions never match. When he is trouble he makes all sorts of promises and after a while he forgets them.” I said.Displaying the Evan Killing and the Maafushi Shootings censored reports to the press, I said: “Here you see the official report giving little details on the torture in our jails.” Again displaying my 1999 report, I said “In this 52 page report, I summarised the brutal methods applied in Maldivian jails and asked the President for a special appointment to further explain them. But the reward for writing this report was a 3 months holiday package in solitary confinement on a beautiful island where you all visit and spend your dreamed holiday. Its beaches are lovely and it’s really a paradise, but we Maldivians are being tortured in those.” “Today after four years of my report the government is compelled to accept the police brutality in the jails under President’s control.” I further said.”As a person who is deeply conscious about the police brutality, I am writing to help change, and of course writing helps and we see some changes. If my children commit a crime they should be arrested, interrogated, tried and punished by law, I do not want them to be brutalised by the police. I have seen so many young and old men being indiscriminately beaten by the police. Among them one is a former judge who lies in sick bed partially paralysed due to the injuries suffered to his backbone. In 1998 after a similar jail beating, inmates rioted to burn the Hinmmafushi jail complete to ground. The police killed a young man. To this day, no media coverage is given about this riot or killing, locally or internationally”, I said.When asked if I observe any changes due these new developments, I said: “The government has relaxed a lot. They do not allow political parities to operate. Recently, in February, some people have been arrested in connection with a political movement. But now, people express dissatisfactions a little openly. They do not simply arrest now. This is a positive sign.”When asked if I would ever think of returning to Maldives, I said: “Switzerland is developed and a beautiful county, but Maldives, semi or undeveloped is really much more beautiful. Unless they cancel the prison term given to me, I wouldn’t be thinking of that. But if they do I shall be very happy to return my country to serve and help the people. But as long as this government is in place or as long as there is no reform to the constitution or as long as the government dose not honour what is written in the constitution I wouldn’t be thinking of returning.” I further added: “There are lots of good things written in the constitution, but the problem is its not being honoured.”That is a little summery of a one hour meeting with press. After the official meeting I spend time explaining and answering questions to individual reporters. Four major newspapers have covered the stories and two of them on front page.I am preparing a Dhivehi version of the press conference for the Sandhaanu 11th issue.” to go further Receive email alerts RSF calls for open trial of Maldivian blogger’s accused murderers July 15, 2020 Find out more News News RSF seeks press freedom pledges from Maldives presidential candidates Organisation MaldivesAsia – Pacific Follow the news on Maldives March 5, 2004 – Updated on January 20, 2016 “Our beaches are lovely and it’s really a paradise, but we Maldivians are being tortured here”last_img read more

Long Island Weather: More Snow on Monday

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A winter weather advisory is in effect through midnight for all dark purple areas. (National Weather Service)Both Nassau and Suffolk counties are under a winter weather advisory through midnight as more snow heads toward Long Island Monday.Accumulations are expected to reach 2 to 3 inches with isolated areas up to 4 inches, according to the National Weather Service, with 40 mph wind gusts and visibilities less than 1 mile at times.Light, wet snow is expected to develop this morning and continue into tonight but will hit hardest after 1 p.m.Total daytime snow accumulation of around an inch is possible before the evening commute.Snow is expected to taper off before 9 p.m. with new snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.last_img read more

New Czech government looks set to dismantle second-pillar pension system

first_imgThe Czech Republic is close to forming a new government, whose policies include closing down the second-pillar pension system.The second pillar was introduced by the former government of Petr Nečas at the start of 2013.It was funded by diverting 3% of the 28% social contribution, alongside an additional 2% of wages from members.The system was voluntary, but the decision, once made, was irrevocable. Nečas pushed through the changes despite warnings from Bohuslav Sobotka, chairman of the opposition Social Democrats (CSSD), that his party would scrap the system should it win the next election, scheduled at the time for 2014.Nečas resigned in June following a series of scandals, while his presidentially appointed successor Jiří Rusnok failed to win the confidence vote for his caretaker government in August, precipitating an early general election in late October.Following protracted coalition talks, Sobotka now looks set to lead a three-party coalition with political newcomer ANO 2011 and the Christian Democratic Party (KDU-CSL).The coalition agreement includes merging members’ second-pillar accounts with those in the third pillar, and cancelling the 3% contribution.The change would have a minimal impact on Czech finances, unlike Poland’s current second-pillar overhaul.Pavel Jirák, chief executive and chairman of the board at KB Pension, said: “My expectation of this outflow is CZK800m (€29m) in 2014, slightly more than 0.2% of the state budget for pensioners.“It was more of a political than an economic issue. The change is expected from the beginning of 2015.“None of the participants would lose their second-pillar money through the merger, in accordance with the Czech constitution.”What is not clear at this stage is what happens to those second-pillar members, thousands according to Jirák, without an existing third-pillar account.The overall take-up of the second pillar is relatively low, with 83,753 members as of the end of November.“By far, the most important reason has been the threat from the CSSD party, since the discussions about the creation of a second pillar started, to cancel it,” Jirák told IPE.The requirement for workers to contribute an additional 2%, their inability to withdraw their monies before retirement and the legally capped low commission that pension companies could pay financial intermediaries also contributed, he said.“We are still convinced the creation of the second pillar was the right step towards diversifying financial sources for retirement, and a good long-term solution given the unfavourable demographic trends and their negative impact on state pension financing,” he added. “So we are against this merger – but without any power to stop or influence it.”last_img read more