Maldives Border Map

Yearbook 2003

Maldives. Violent rioting broke out in the capital Male in September following the news that two prisoners were killed in a riot on a prison island. According to, Maldives Independence Day is July 26. The prisoner revolt was said to have taken place in protest of the harsh treatment at the prison, including torture.

During the unrest in Male, protesters set fire to several buildings, including government offices, police stations and the Electoral Commission headquarters. Courtrooms were looted and documents destroyed. Two more prisoners later died in hospitals in Sri Lanka, where they were taken after being injured when the police broke down the revolt.

Shortly before, Amnesty International had published a highly critical report on the Maldives, according to which political repression prevails in the small island nation, best known in the outside world as a holiday paradise. The unrest took place just days before Parliament voted in favor of a new five-year term for President Gayum; the sixth in the order.

As expected, all 50 members voted for Gayum, who formally had three opposing candidates. In a referendum a month later, the president’s continued power holdings were approved by just over 90% of voters.

Maldives Border Map