THE FIRST THING TO KNOW IS:
Uncuffedmv.com is a space to share the stories of those who have suffered torture in the Maldivian prison system and whose grievances have not been officially recognized. Uncuffed.com is also a source for the Maldivian and international communities, in whose hands justice lies.
Uncuffedmv is an independent operation; its primary goal is to prompt public discussion and reconciliation of the practice of torture in the Maldives. This website does not have any political aims, nor does it blame any party or individual for the injustice and torture reported in these interviews.
THE SECOND THING TO KNOW IS:
Uncuffedmv was conceived in September 2011 by a group of independent journalists and Maldivian citizens, who developed this project after-hours on a volunteer basis with a computer, a digital camera and sometimes a motorcycle. Interviewees spoke willingly and were not paid or otherwise incentivized. All interviews were collected in Male’ Atoll, Maldives between September 2011 and January 2012.
For the purposes of clarity and context, it is important to note that former president Mohamed Nasheed was in office from November 2008 to February 2012; he was forced to resign from the presidency in a military coup d’état on February 7, 2012.
The Republic of Maldives, a small archipelagic nation in the Indian Ocean, experienced its first peaceful transfer of power in 2008 when President Nasheed was elected to power by democratic process, replacing the president of 30 years Maumoon Abdul Gayoom. Many interviews on this website report events that took place prior to 2008, however some interviews as well as other reports obtained by uncuffedmv claim that torture remains a common practice in Maldivian prisons--allegedly an attempt by pro-Gayoom prison officials to undermine President Nasheed's public image.
THE THIRD THING TO KNOW IS:
These interviews reflect only a small portion of the population estimated to have suffered inhumane abuse in Maldivian prisons. Limited time and resources prevented journalists from speaking to the many individuals who have claimed to and were reported to have been tortured. To compensate for this shortcoming, uncuffedmv focused on individuals whose stories incorporate those of many more Maldivians. Collectively, these interviews represent the range of reported torture.
These interviews do not represent the total number of interviews held during the making of this project. For every three recorded interviews, one individual declined to speak on record. A majority of those who declined were women. Individuals then on parole said they were prohibited from making official statements about their experiences in prison, while many expressed fear that their statements would make them a target of the authorities. Others said they did not want to remember past events.
THE FOURTH THING TO KNOW IS:
This website aspires to provide a complete story for each individual within reason and resources. To that end,
“Media Coverage” compiles and sorts all available press pertaining to individual cases; these stories are also linked to the appropriate person’s interview on the main page. “Media Coverage” also archives coverage of issues pertaining to torture and prison reform.