Water torture used against my best friend

This is a true incident happened in Addu atoll about 20 years ago

Torture has has been widespread. The truth and rumors are disregarded by some of us. But it is a fact that people have been subjected to inhumane conditions. Although Islam is the religion of Maldives for centuries, there was no respect for sharia and principles of Islam. People who governed the country implemented their own rules of brutality upon us.

Torture and arbitrary political imprisonment were common in Maldives. The official Maldivian response and some Maldivians, rather few, describe all these matters as fabrications and lies.

I remember a famous incident that happened in Addu atoll about 20 years (I am not sure about the exact year) ago. Those days dhoanis and speed boats were used for travelling from Fuvahmulah to Addu atoll.

One day a speed boat set off from Fuvahmulah to travel to Addu. My best friend, Ali (not his real name) and a famous businessman named Abdullahu (not the real name) also traveled in the boat. It was a 70-minute trip.

When the speed boat reached Feydhoo jetty, money brought by Mr.Abdullah was reported to be stolen from the vessel. This man reported the matter to security forces in Addu (at that time, I think NSS was responsible for homeland security).

The soldiers arrived within minutes. According to witnesses, Mr.Abdullah alleged that my best friend Ali and another close friend of mine named Hassan (not the real name) stole the cash. These two young men were taken to radar station in Gan, where the NSS soldiers stayed. Ali was separated from Hassan and taken away further from the station.

When darkness obscured the earth. The soldiers began torturing Ali for interrogation. He was stripped naked, his hands and feet were bound. He was strapped to a titled board. A cloth was placed over his face, covering his nose and mouth. He was then punched and kicked repeatedly.

The soldiers then poured water continuously over the cloth to prevent breathing, stimulate drowning and induce panic. Hassan could hear the gurgling screams. Ali was crying out loud and sobbing under inhumane treatment. He was suffering like a man who was drowning.

The brutal soldiers tried to extract a confession, perhaps. The excruciating torture was used against an innocent human being. Ali did not confess as he did not commit a crime in his entire life. But they continued this barbaric acts of water torture by putting ice blocks on his bare body and spraying water from a hose at extremely high pressure. They also poured cold water onto his body.

It was not for interrogation; it was for their sadistic pleasure as the merciless creatures were beating him every five to ten minutes. Ali screamed in pain and agony. He was subjected to absolute brutality. Allah was the only companion for him. Ali couldn’t tolerate the pain he was going through. They tortured him for several hours till a phone in the torture compound rang. It was mid night.

The caller from the other end was informing one of the soldiers that the cash had been found. The informer, the businessman, reported that the money was not stolen. The bag containing the cash was in the vessel. Mr.Abdullah was wrongly conceived. He did not know where he kept one of his bags. Hassan was not subjected to this level of torture. However he was also terrorized and attacked.

The perpetrators were never brought to justice. This is one of the reasons I had to believe that torture and injustice were characteristics of Maldivian history.

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