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"Minivan Daily" photographer arrested when police break up prayer meeting

(RSF/IFEX) - Reporters Without Borders calls on the interior minister to have news photographer Ahmed Rifah of the opposition "Minivan Daily" released. Rifah was arrested as he left an allegedly illegal prayer meeting on 1 June 2007 in a mosque near the capital, Male, during which he took photos of participants. Scuffles broke out during the meeting. The police seized his press card and took him to Dhoonidhoo prison, where he told colleagues he thought the authorities intended to charge him with attacking police officers.

"Minivan Daily" deputy editor Nazim Sattar tried to intercede with the police. "I told them he is not a Wahhabi, he does not have a beard and there is no way he could have assaulted a policeman because he is so small." Rifah's lawyer has been able to visit him twice, on 2 and 5 June.

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