Legal representatives for the 19 migrant workers arrested from B. Bodufinolhu allege the unrest at the island was preceded by threats against the workers, including the workers who were arrested, from Seal Maldives, the company to which the island was leased for tourism development.
The legal representatives have issued a press statement regarding the threats against the workers.
The workers in Bodufinolhu staged a violent protest over months of unpaid wages on July 2, in which local workers were held hostage, several police officers who went to intervene were injured, and property was damaged.
The legal representatives said they held separate meetings with each of the 19 workers who were arrested on July 3, the day after the unrest took place in Bodufinolhu, and spoke to them on the circumstances of their arrest, the extension to their remand, as well as the circumstances surrounding the whole incident.
The legal representatives said they believe the police are working to cover up information regarding the incident.
They also said the incidents in Bodufinolhu on May 16 and July 2 involve threats against the lives of the workers.
The legal representatives said the workers have accused three officials from Seal Maldives of attempting to terrorize the workers using gangs, threatening to deport them without paying their wages, threatening to attack them, threatening to decapitate them and render their wives and children destitute, and turning Bodufinolhu into a battle field and forcing them to take action to defend themselves on July 2.
The legal representatives said that in light of the information provided by their clients, it should not be them who should be detained, but the people who threatened their lives.
They have asked that the Prosecutor General initiate a petition to review the detention order against the 19 migrant workers, and conduct a separate investigation into the allegation the police included false information in the form they submitted to the B. Eydhafushi Magistrate Court requesting an extension to the remand period.
They have also asked the Prosecutor General to use his authority to order an investigation into the issues identified in a preliminary report drafted by the legal representatives based on the information collected from the workers.