The Edition


Murdered blogger's family demand foreign expert input for 'reliable probe'

Fathmath Shaahunaz
25 April 2017, MVT 11:29
Yameen Rasheed, 29, a popular social media activist and blogger was found murdered early April 23, 2017.
Fathmath Shaahunaz
25 April 2017, MVT 11:29

The family of Yameen Rasheed, the social media activist who was found brutally killed early Sunday, stated that the investigation into his murder can be considered reliable only with participation from investigative experts of international standards.

In a statement released late Monday, Yameen Rasheed’s family requested authorities to expedite their investigation, noting that no arrests have been made even 48 hours after his murder.

The family welcomed President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom’s guarantee late Sunday to take every action and use all resources to bring the culprits to justice. They called on the president and Police to bring in foreign experts for the investigation.

Yameen Rasheed’s family described him as a kind and brave person who had stood up to injustice, bigotry and hindrance. However, they declared that authorities had failed to properly investigate the death threats Yameen had received in connection to the articles and blog posts he wrote about government policies, social issues and religious extremism in the Maldives.

They proclaimed that Yameen had been informing Police of all the threats he received online and offline and had filed an official case on December 22, 2016. The family added that while some messages were sent anonymously, there were several people that had not hidden their identities while threatening Yameen.

Noting that proper protection had not been provided to Yameen despite his reports to the police, the family expressed hope that authorities will nonetheless work incessantly to provide justice after his death.

Social media activist Yameen Rasheed (L) with journalist Ahmed Rilwan

However, they also raised concerns over several individuals and groups that call for and incite violence, who have not been brought to justice before the law. In their statement, the family highlighted the abduction of Yameen’s close friend and journalist Ahmed Rilwan, who has been missing for over two years, and the brutal killing of former Ungoofaaru MP Dr Afrasheem Ali. They noted that several suspects in both cases had walked free and evaded punishment, which they said has led to an increase in killers in the nation.

The family concluded their statement by vowing to work for as long as it takes to provide justice to Yameen Rasheed.

“That is what our son would have wanted. That is what he had done for his friend, Rilwan. And that is what he would have done for us.”

Meanwhile, Police have claimed to have taken action in connection to the death threat cases Yameen had filed with them. They said that they had questioned some suspects over the latest case Yameen had reported and kept him informed of progress, but did not reveal whether any arrests had been made over the threats.