MDP to mark ‘Black Friday’ anniversary

The former ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) has announced that it will mark the eighth anniversary of ‘Black Friday’ August 13, 2004 with a special rally and photo exhibition on Monday night.

The spontaneous gathering of the public at the Republic Square on August 12 and 13, 2004 against the regime of former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom was a watershed event in Maldivian history.

The unprecedented 22-hour pro-democracy demonstration was quashed in a brutal crackdown on the afternoon of August 13 by the former National Security Service (NSS).

Shortly after the crackdown and arrest of scores of demonstrators, President Gayoom declared a state of emergency, which lasted two months.

In August 2005, then-Chairperson of MDP, former President Mohamed Nasheed, was arrested on the first anniversary of Black Friday during a vigil at the Republic Square.

According to the party website, the rally planned for Monday night to mark the anniversary will feature a video presentation about torture.