Monday, September 19, 2005

There is no greater love


On the 19th September 2003, in Maafushi Jail, Maldives, members of President Gayoom's National Security Service took 19 year old Evan Naseem out of his cell. They tied Evan's hands above his head and his legs to the floor in an 'X' position. Then, they took it in turns to beat Evan to death with iron rods, batons and chair legs.
In Male', hundreds of people went on a rampage , torching police stations and vehicles sending Male' was in a state of absolute chaos and mayhem. There was a riot in the jail and that the Police opened fire and killed many unarmed inmates. Some were shot in the back as they tried to flee.
The Honorable Minister of Defense Ismail Shafeeg addressing the Parliament recently admitted that it was common knowledge that people were tortured and mudered while in detention and incarceration. Not only now. It was always this way, he said.
People are tortured, murdered around the world by brutal governments. Many disappear and are never heard of again. No one knows what happened to these people. A knock onthe door inthe middle of the night.They answer the door. and they disappear forever. In Maldives we hear the announcement on the Voice of Maldives Radio and Television Maldives about people who who have escaped from detention. Do we hear about them being found? Has anyone made the count? Has anyone disappeared? Are there any buried bodies in Gaamaadhoo, Girifushi and Maafushi?

This is not the first time in Maldives that someone died at the hands of those who had sworn to protect them.What is not remarkable is that , according to witness statements suppressed by the government that the NSS officers said they were "playing a game" with Evan Naseem.
What is important is Mariyam Manike's love for her son. She refused to be silenced. Let us, on this day, pay homage to a mother's love for her murdered child. And bear witness with those mothers who have lost their children to despotic regimes around the world.

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