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PSC to take action against officers over Rilwan's abduction

Ahmed Aiham
03 September 2019, MVT 12:37
A peaceful protest is broken up the Maldives Police Services' Special Operations unit on August 8, 2017. An officer is pictured pepper-spraying protestors. PHOTO: MIHAARU FILES
Ahmed Aiham
03 September 2019, MVT 12:37

Maldives Police Services' Professional Standard Command (PSC), on Monday, declared that action will be taken against officers in relation to the abduction of journalist Ahmed Rilwan.

During a press conference held by the Presidential Commission on Investigation of Enforced Disappearances and Murders, it confirmed in its report that Police involvement was identified in Rilwan's kidnapping.

Then-Immigration Controller Hassan Ali confirmed that two intelligence officers met him in an attempt to obtain Rilwan's passport.

The Commission's President Husnu al-Suood maintained that former Vice President Ahmed Adeeb sought to frame Rilwan's death in Syria.

In response, Police said legal action will be taken against the officers, should the commission's final report reveal sufficient evidence.

Suood stated that evidence indicated Rilwan was murdered by a local group affiliated with al-Qaeda, a militant extremist multi-national organisation.

Rilwan was abducted near his apartment in reclaimed suburb Hulhumale' and subsequently transferred and killed on a marine vessel. However, Suood said that discrepancies between testimonies prevented the aforementioned evidence from being sufficient to prove the murder had occurred.

Expressing concern, Suood stated that the level of religious extremism was greater than previously estimated and that widespread cooperation is needed to tackle the issue.

The draft report on Rilwan was handed over by Suood to the Speaker of Parliament and former president, Mohamed Nasheed, which was then distributed to all the parliamentary group (PG) leaders. However, it was later withdrawn from the PG leaders.

Local media Mihaaru reported that the draft included sensitive information such as the identity of secret witnesses and their statements.

Rilwan is missing since August 8, 2014. His friend and prominent satirical blogger Yameen Rasheed was also brutally murdered on April 23, 2017.

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