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Families to establish 'Rilwan and Yameen Foundation'

Ahmed Aiham
11 April 2019, MVT 09:51
The families of murdered blogger Yameen Rasheed and missing journalist plan to launch the 'Rilwan and Yameen Foundation'. PHOTO: AHMED AIHAM / THE EDITION
Ahmed Aiham
11 April 2019, MVT 09:51

On the occasion of slain blogger and IT professional Yameen Rasheed's birthday, the families of Yameen and abducted journalist Ahmed Rilwan, on Wednesday, announced their decision to establish the 'Rilwan And Yameen Foundation'.

"April 10, 2019 - today is Yameen Rasheed's birthday. Had it not been for his brutal murder, Yameen would have turned 31 today. His abducted friend Ahmed Rilwan would have been 33 years old", said Yameen's mother during the press conference.

"The families of the two young individuals have endured without relief, and have been denied a fragments worth of justice to this date".

Family of murdered blogger Yameen Rasheed and missing journalist at the press conference held on Wednesday. PHOTO: AHMED AIHAM / THE EDITION

Although an investigation into these injustices involved the arrests of suspects that committed the crimes, there were no developments in regards to uncovering those behind the disappearance and assassination.

Furthemore, the families attributed the failure to pass the presidential commissions bill which grants powers to the recently formed presidential commissions, including the commissions on asset recovery and the investigation of murders and enforced disappearances, as stark evidence of political influence.

Friends, family and members of the press during the press conference held by Yameen Rasheed's and Ahmed Rilwan's family. PHOTO: AHMED AIHAM / THE EDITION

A vote on the bill was scheduled thrice but failed to gain traction as it was allegedly "sabotaged", failing to gain quorum to proceed further.

The bill will give authority to the two independent commissions to make formal accusations against those responsible for corruption and murder cases.

Galolhu North MP Eva Abdulla's tweet regarding the failure to achieve quorum to proceed with the vote. PHOTO: TWITTER

Rilwan's whereabouts remain unknown since he went missing in August 2014. The state had declared that he had been kidnapped and prosecuted two suspects, who have since been acquitted of their charges.

Yameen was stabbed in the stairway of his apartment building on April 23, 2017. Police have arrested and charged seven suspects of being involved in the murder, and their trials are currently ongoing. However, no hearings have been conducted since October.

Then lawmaker of Ungoofaaru constituency, Dr Afrasheem Ali was violently murdered in October 2012. While the Supreme Court has upheld capital punishment for Hussain Humaan, who was found guilty of killing the lawmaker, Dr Afrasheem's family has expressed concern as the instigators of his murder remain at large.

Moreover, the Commission on Investigation of Murders and Enforced Disappearances had declared that the three cases were connected.

Abducted journalist's mother (L), during the press conference held by the families of Yameen Rasheed and Ahmed Rilwan. PHOTO: AHMED AIHAM / THE EDITION

Thursday marks 718 days since Yameen's murder and 1,720 days since Rilwan's disappearance.

Additionally, the commission, on Wednesday, summoned former council member of opposition Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM), Zahid Rameez, for questioning over a series of menacing tweets he made in 2011 and 2012, including death threats aimed at Yameen.

Despite Yameen having reported the troubling messages to the police, no action was taken prior to his brutal murder.

The president of the commission, Husnu al-Suood, had earlier claimed that businessmen and gangs exerted influence over the courts to a degree that certain gangs had a hand in appointing judges.

The commission is probing a total of 24 cold cases, with the aid of foreign experts.

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