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Efforts to ensure justice will continue: DDCom

Shahudha Mohamed
08 August 2020, MVT 22:12
Participants at a protest demanding authorities to conduct a thorough investigation into journalist Ahmed Rilwan's disappearance. PHOTO: MIHAARU
Shahudha Mohamed
08 August 2020, MVT 22:12

The Presidential Commission on Investigation of Murders and Enforced Disappearances (DDCom), on Saturday, assured that efforts would continue to ensure justice for the victims of cases being investigated by the commission.

In a statement released on the six-year anniversary of journalist Ahmed Rilwan's enforced disappearance, DDCom declared that the commission grieves with Rilwan's family over his pending justice.

Moreover, DDCom revealed that' active attempts' to appoint a foreign expert for the commission's work were set to commence next month, following President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih's decision to seek international assistance in solving the cold cases.

"The President made the decision to appoint a foreign expert to assist the commission on July 2, after meeting the families of Ahmed Rilwan and blogger Yameen Rasheed", DDCom's statement read.

The commission further requested any individuals with relevant information about Rilwan's enforced disappearance to share the details with the commission.

Two years have passed since the commission reopened investigations into Rilwan's case, but as of yet, no suspects have been charged in relation to the journalist's abduction.

DDCom's statement comes at a time of growing public criticism over the commission's meagre record of charging suspects and closing cases under investigation.

In 2019, DDCom revealed that Rilwan was murdered following his abduction, in a report which stated that Rilwan's murder resulted from a clash between some liberals and an extremist group, the latter reportedly being an affiliate of the militant multi-national extremist organization, al-Qaeda.

Rilwan's family has raised concern on several occasions over the slow progress in ensuring justice for the abducted journalist.

His family, on the six-year anniversary of Rilwan's disappearance, accused President Solih of misusing Rilwan and Yameen's names to secure votes in the 2018 elections, by pledging to ensure justice for the victims and their families.

On Saturday, President Solih tweeted a handwritten note, promising that "the state will, god willing, do everything possible to ensure justice in Rilwan's case despite obstructions and challenges".

Noting that every day without justice is an added sorrow for Rilwan's family, the president assured that efforts were underway to continue the investigations with a trusted foreign investigator.

Earlier in the day, as a way to honour him on the six-year anniversary of his enforced disappearance, Rilwan's family released a book that details his case titled 'Gelluvaalee Mausoom Dhivehi Dharieh', which loosely translates to '[They] Disappeared an Innocent Maldivian'.

The book compiles available information from his abduction onwards, describing the trial proceedings at Criminal Court and the progress or lack thereof made in ensuring justice.

Author of Rilwan's 'biography', Shahindha Ismail, highlights DDCom's incompetence in the book and questioned how justice can be ensured when the Commissioner of Police Mohamed Hameed had failed to carry out his mandate, Prosecutor General Ahmed Shameem was linked to former Vice President Ahmed Adeeb who is accused of masterminding the largest embezzlement scandal in Maldivian history and courts were letting perpetrators walk free.

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