OTJ to hold public hearings of the 1962 Thinadhoo forced depopulation case in March

Thinadhoo in the 60s | Photo: Wordpress

Malé, Maldives – Ombudsperson’s Office for Transitional Justice (OTJ) has scheduled public hearings of the Thinadhoo forced depopulation in 1962 in March 2022.

The public hearings are held to allow individuals who suffered crimes against humanity to tell their story to the public.

Ombudsperson’s Office for Transitional Justice

The office has opened registrations for anyone interested in participating in the public hearings til 15 February 2022. Interested parties may call or sms 7223473 or email hearings@otj.gov.mv.

They must provide, full name, national ID number, contact number, permanent address, present address, how they have acquired the information of the forced depopulation, method of participation whether written or presentation and whether the participants want to give statements in Thinadhoo or Malé.

Hearings are to held in GDh. Thinadhoo from 3 to 5 March 2022 and in Malé from 18 to 19 March 2022.

On 2nd February 1962 Havaru Thinadhoo was completely destroyed on the orders of the Maldivian Prime Minister Ibrahim Nasir to end the separatist movement of the United Suvadive Republic. Local news reports that the islanders were told to go to the shallow reef, where they were standing for hours with water up to their necks. Meanwhile all houses were destroyed, all wells broken and filled with rubble, all trees were cut and much property was looted while the islanders watched.

The island was then depopulated and its people dispersed. Sources report that women and children were raped in front of their families. Between 200 and 300 prisoners were taken back to Malé, where they were tortured and majority killed. Thousands were allegedly killed or disappeared in the depopulation.

President Mohamed Nasheed in 2011 made a formal apology to victims of the then ‘Havaru Thinadhoo’ for past atrocities committed against them by the state. However, the major buildings in the capital city, including the National Airport is named in honour of Ibrahim Nasir.