MDP commemorates ‘Black Friday’ anniversary

The former ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) commemorated the eighth anniversary of the brutal crackdown of the pro-democracy demonstration on ‘Black Friday’ August 12 and 13, 2004 with a special rally last night.

The rally featured video presentations about systematic torture under the regime of former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom and testimony of victims of the crackdown on the unprecedented 22-hour public gathering at the Republic Square.

Addressing a capacity crowd at artificial beach last night, former President Mohamed Nasheed said that Black Friday was the day that the Maldivian people started to believe that they could assert their will and power over the government.

August 12, 13
Black Friday gathering

“It was the day when the Maldivian people found courage,” he said. “It was the day when the people started to believe that they could come out and reverse the autocratic rule of this country and eradicate torture and brutality.”

The former Amnesty International ‘prisoner of conscience’ paid tribute to the hundreds of demonstrators and reformist MPs arrested and beaten by the former National Security Service (NSS) on August 13.

Nasheed urged reformists to “continue the journey” begun on August 12 and 13 with the lessons of the past eight years, vowing not to stop the fight “until true freedom and independence is established in this country.”

The hopes of the Maldivian people for a better future was “tied to forming a civilised security forces,” Nasheed said, adding that everyone in the police and army were not “bad and ruthless people.”

It was MDP’s “duty” to work with numerous youth and experienced officers “of a national spirit” in the security services to reform the institutions, he continued.

Nasheed said he was “certain beyond doubt” that the Commission of National Inquiry’s (CNI) report would note that a number of mutinous officers of the security forces committed crimes and unlawful acts on February 7.

“After CoNI’s report, we should only go back home after bringing them to justice,” he said.

He added that the nation could not be held as the “spoils of war by a few police and army officers.”

‘The hidden baton’

Speaking at the rally, former Male’ MP and first president of MDP, Ibrahim ‘Ibra’ Ismail, argued that the “biggest success for the people” on August 12 and 13 was to show the outside world as well as the Maldivian people “the culture of brutality concealed by Gayoom.”

“The hidden baton” was made exposed through the efforts of reformists, said Ibra, which was put away after Gayoom’s election defeat only to be brought out again on February 7, 2012.

“This is not something the Maldivian people will accept. You cannot tie the tongues of the Maldivian people again. Today, the Maldivian people no longer fear that baton,” he said.

In a video message aired at the rally, Naushad Waheed – brother of President Mohamed Waheed Hassan Manik – spoke of torture in jails during President Gayoom’s 30-year reign.

Naushad, former deputy high commissioner to the UK, warned that those in power would not willingly relinquish it regardless of the conclusions of CNI’s report, urging MDP to remain vigilant and within legal bounds.

Former Special Majlis MP Mohamed ‘Nafa’ Naseem meanwhile said that the reformists drew courage from the months spent in Dhoonidhoo detention island following the crackdown on August 13.

“If I remember correctly, more than 300 people were put in jail for a long period,” he said. “I never saw anyone cry out of fear. Everyone was smiling. [We] crossed the threshold of fear.”

In a video interview, Mariyam Manike – mother of Evan Naseem, who was beaten to death in Maafushi prison on September 19, 2003 – recounted her treatment at the hands of NSS officers after her arrest outside her residence on August 13.

Manike said she was beaten by NSS officers after being taken to the main army barracks and was kept for hours with her hands cuffed behind her back.

NSS officers threatened to kill her while one officer told her that “this is the handcuff your son was wearing when we killed him,” Manike said.


13 thoughts on “MDP commemorates ‘Black Friday’ anniversary”

  1. Video made me cry.

    I need to be there with you all.

    May our tears be transformed by our caring for each other, into flames of courage burning in our hearts - and May our Love for One Another give us the strength of solidarity needed to never ever bow down and yield our souls to fear or hatred again.

  2. @ Ben Plewright.

    SSSHHH no tears, only dreams now.

    Tell me why you hold such guilt over being a white man. I have a PHD in psychology and I know these things. Your obsession with the maldives is most curious.

  3. @Ben Plewright
    The coup was engineered by Jangiya nazim, Rekko Moosa and Mariya Didi. It is a secret.

  4. more need to be done to spread awareness of all that was done to the atolls...

  5. Why Mariyam Manike left her beloved child to live on the road and deprived him from basic human needs.

    Food , shelter education ? If he has given those, I am sure that Evan Naseem would have been a real asset to the nations. But due to lack of parental care from both mother and father of evan Naseem had lead him to go into drugs and become a thief and a violent thug.

    Do not polities this comments and I happened to live close to Mariyam house and Mariyamanike divorced when Evan was little child . Since then this small kid was left to live and this " so called mother " never even bothered to give him a shoer.

    What happened to him may not be correct but this Mariyamanike who had completely ignored basic human rights for her own child have no right to talk about human rights and abuses today.

    If she had been a good mother, then Evan Naseem should not have been a threat to the neibours.

  6. hey Dr jimmy, have you been introduced to jinni??
    It's a supernatural entity which feast on ur fear before dragging you into sinful thoughts n actions!

    Your fear I can smell, cox it stincks!! your days are now in few! The land under you is getting smaller by the day!! and the eyes are on you every night!!

    Doc! can u diagnose a mental psychiatrist, who writes his mind,no doubt racist, but yet again fails to see beyond his thick glass who sacrificed their life for this democracy didn't do it for a race or a color but for the human in everyone!!!

    pathetic!! sometimes ppl are just arguing just not to loos an argument!! foolish doc, too foolish!!

  7. President Nasheeds demands keeps changing everyday. First it was fresh elections, now it's accountability for police brutality. The campaign needs more focus.

  8. @Dr. Jimmy Russels,

    It is an abhorrent damnation of your diseased moral state to take the attitude that guilt is necessarily a bad thing, it is the driving force behind moral responsibility. Yes, guilt has a destructive aspect to it, but we are all driven by dark unconscious forces which can be destructive. The fact that I simply choose to lay my heart out and expose my subconscious forces is part of my personality, so it is easy to identify my hang ups. yet your hang ups are also exposed here, Dr.

    I make myself an easy target but I believe it is part of my existential fulfillment to be as such. It is called Compassion, something you could really use a lot more of. I am proud of it, because, love and the capacity to suffer for love is the highest, richest virtue in the Universe. Love is the greatest treasure in the Universe, he who is rich, yet lacks love, is impoverished, and he who is poor, if they have love, they are the wealthiest person in the world. How do we measure love? By our capacity to suffer for it, the greatest wealth is love which is so strong, it has the capacity for self sacrifice, now that is true treasure!

    So you see, I am not ashamed of my complexes man and I don't need help with them, rather, it is you who needs help quite obviously seems you lack empathy. If you were truly a psychologist you would understand that your neo-Freudian sterile analysis is not empirical psychology. It is next to impossible to construct a very reliable, verifiable hypothesis from much of Freud's beliefs, it is theoretical, not proper science, don't psychologize me man so empty of you!

    Again, I am proud of my complexes because as painful as they sometimes are, I also recognize that they are the driving force behingd my empathy, sense of social justice, and creative passion, and these things, I see as absolutely beautiful. Yes sure, sometimes I suffer depression, anxiety as a result of my complexes, but, this is the necessary flip side of my being.

    Anyone who has strong creative capacity has to make mental sacrifices for it, and I accept it, and deal with it, because I am proud at the fruits of it!

    Yes, I love the Maldives, damed right I do, I frickin love it more than I could even explain, I HURT for the Maldives every day! I miss it so much, it hurts!My obsession with the Maldives is born from love, fear, and anger, due to my experiences with the people of that nation and with that nation. Yes, it is sometimes bad and over the top, but it is nowhere near as destructive as the empathy deficit you are inflicted with in your existentially empty, shallow, selfish, destructive hedonistic neo-Freudian nonsense!

    It is cowardly, to be so morally poor, it is the path of a weak person, who is not strong enough to take the pain of actually caring!

    Have you ever heard of the courage to love?

    Don't punk me with your moral cowardice and your pseudo psychological jargon because it stinks!

    @justice4all: You rock brother YOU sir are awesome, yeah man all these punks are filled with jinni's man they need an excorcism from their plague of selfishness and cowardice!

  9. Mody get a life. No matter what failings Evan Naseem's parents had or didn't have, and no matter what failings Evan Naseem might have had or didn't have...He surely did NOT deserve to be beaten to death in prison by the cops. And Evan Naseem's mother has every right to talk about it and talk about human rights after what the state put her through.

  10. You are strongly advised not to meddle with forces of nature. The biggest of it is prevailing of truth eventually.

    The damned lot who carried out such treason against this country in the name of local politics should face justice and stop gerrymandering and scorched-earth politics forever.

    And truth dawns and dawn fast enough to eliminate repetitive mischief. People do not need CONI report to establish breach of trust and mutiny committed by the rogue elements of security forces.

  11. Well doesnt the 3/11/88 videos make you cry!! Thats when the real Baghees came and killed our people..

  12. @Adora on 88, regarding Former Brigadier General Ibrahim Mohamed Didi's comment about 3 11 88 when he said that:"I believe that on the particular day, martyr Corporal Hussein Adam was the savior of the nation. He sacrificed his soul attacking those soldiers…”

    I said...


    Reverence for self sacrifice like that silences me, it helps me understand.

    THAT is real Holiness, self sacrifice, the most Holy and Sacred reality there is…

    On Black Friday, I was experiencing some difficulties with Maldies so I felt all of this strongly, but that does not mean Black Friday is any more solemn and sorrowful than what happened in 88.

    ANY sacrifice for others, or injustice or death or suffering which is not JUST, must be reverenced and sorrowed over, of course!

    On sacrifice I said...

    Sacrifice is the Essence of Life.

    Maldives Red, the Blood of the Forefathers, the Blood of all Dhivehin – is a vivid symbol of Your Sacrifice, as displayed on your awesome flag! Your capacity for sacrifice will always be the source of your Power for Freedom and Justice.

    By all of this I mean - not onlty the martyrs whose tombstones and graves you have in the old Mosques, but also those who died for Maldives in 88...

    I realized I made a huge mistake, as a foreigner, taking sides politically, I have to confess I was incredibly naive.

    My primary concern now is the protection of my own family for when they return to Maldives, but, at the same time, because of that, I have also come to wish that no Maldivian, or human for that matter, should live in fear!


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