The self-titled “Maldives National Movement”, comprised of several NGOs and the religious conservative Adhalaath Party, is organising a special protest for May 3, 2013, on behalf of “the rights of murder victims.”
Speaking to local media at Nalahiya Hotel in Male’ today, Adhaalath Party President Sheikh Imran Abdulla said the main purpose of the gathering was to call for justice for murder victims and encourage the authorities to ensure that “such inhumane acts” were not repeated in the future.
The ‘National Movement’ said its member would deliver five demands, which be revealed on the day of the protest.
Imran also suggested that the number of murders were being ignored, criticising media for seemingly forgetting cases after covering them for ten days or even a month.
He also referred to the brutal murder of MP Dr Afrasheem Ali in October 2012, noting that neither the ongoing trial nor the investigation of his murder had been concluded.
State Home Minister Abdulla Mohamed, spokesperson of the ‘National Movement’, said that 13 Maldivians were reported murdered last year. He added that compensation for these deaths was also not being received by relatives of the victims.
Mohamed said the protest would be held to show that families and friends of murder victims were being deprived of their rights.
He therefore called on everyone against murder to participate in the event.
Statistics provided on the Maldives Police Service website do not include individual figures on murder rates.
However, the official figures did show a decline in cases of assault over the last three years. Reported assaults fell to 1,416 incidents during 2012, down from 2,001 cases in 2009.
Sheikh Imran and State Finance Minister Abbas Adil Riza, members of the National Movement’s Steering Committee, were not responding to calls from Minivan News at time of press.
The ‘National Movement’ has held a series of poorly-attended gatherings in recent weeks targeted at parliament.
The group previously accused MPs of violating the constitution late last year and said they would consider a plan to “break up” parliament if its members’ constitutional concerns were not addressed.
The movement was born out of the unofficial December 23 coalition of eight political parties – now part of the coalition government of President Dr Mohamed Waheed – and an alliance of NGOs that rallied at a mass gathering to “defend Islam” in late 2011.
The rally was held to oppose the allegedly liberal policies and “securalisation agenda” of former President Mohamed Nasheed.
Following the controversial transfer of presidential power on February 7, the “civil alliance” led a campaign dubbed “Maldivians’ Airport to Maldivians” calling on the government to terminate the concession agreement with Indian infrastructure giant GMR to manage and modernise Ibrahim Nasir International Airport (INIA).