Maldivian with alleged links to ISIS to remain detained

Mohamed Ameen | photo: Adhadhu

Malé, Maldives – The Criminal Court at today’s hearing, decided not to give release on the detainment of alleged ISIS leader in Maldives, Mohamed Ameen.

The hearing today was scheduled in order to begin the trial for the charges raised against him. He is currently accused of organising an event of terrorism and taking part in terrorist association.

The judge overseeing the case, Ahmed Shakeel scheduled the coming hearings for the trial at today’s sitting. The final verdict of the case is to be announced on September 22.

After scheduling the hearings, the judge gave opportunity for the preliminary report from both sides. However, alleged Mohamed Ameen’s lawyer Yameen objected to this saying that their preliminary report is not yet fully prepared. Lawyer of the Prosecutor General’s Office Ahmed Naushaad said that he is completely ready for the report, requesting for the opportunity to be given today.

However, the judge wanted both reports to be heard on the same day and therefore scheduled the hearing of the preliminary report for another day. As the trial on the charges raised against Mohamed Ameen did not proceed today as well, the court proceeded to review the detainment of Ameen.

State Lawyer Naushaad said that cases of terrorism has gained a lot of public interest and that releasing Ameen from detainment might pose a threat to society. He also said that the chance of influencing the evidence of the case is there if Ameen is to be released.

Following this, Ameen’s lawyer Yameen requested for the necessary medical attention to be provided for the alleged and ease his detainment. Lawyer Yameen went on to note that Mohamed Ameen is a patient with arthritis and that he needs regular exercise. However, he is not being taken out of his cell for exercise and has not been provided with workout shoes, as instructed by the doctor, according to lawyer Yameen.

Furthermore, Yameen noted that Ameen also frequently requires sunlight and that he is not being given this opportunity in detainment. Replying to these statements, State Lawyer Naushaad said that although there are difficulties in maintaining the regular standards at the jail due to the current Covid-19 situation, they do try to provide the necessary services to the detainees including medical services.

In addition to this, Ameen’s lawyer Yameen complained regarding several media labelling him as a terrorist which is ruining his reputation. He further went on to note the recent Police operation at the jail in which they have confiscated several items from Ameen’s cellar. Police took some of his books, a Qur’an and also the mechanical part of his alarm clock. Yameen said that he sees no reason for these items to be confiscated.

Following the statements from both lawyers, Judge Shakeel said that he does not see a reason for any changes to be made to Ameen’s detainment, which is why he decided for Ameen to remain detained. However, the judge ordered for all the necessary services and rights to be provided for the detainee.

Ameen was arrested in October 2019 over allegations of spreading radical extremist ideologies and recruiting and dispatching fighters to other countries.

According to the OFAC bio, Ameen has assisted, sponsored, provided financial, material, and technological support for goods and services in support of ISIS-Khorasan (ISIS-K) as observed from April 2019.

OFAC states that Ameen is a recruiter who has dispatched Maldivians to Syria and Afghanistan. He is actively engaged in leading ISIS recruitment through close lieutenants, under the guise of Islamic classes in Malé and other locations in the Maldives. He recruits fighters from the Maldivian Criminal Gangs. He directs terrorist fighters to Syria and more recently Afghanistan.