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Evidence regarding Rilwan's disappearance missing: Home Minister

Ahmed Aiham
21 October 2020, MVT 18:28
Minister of Home Affairs Abdulla Imran at the Parliament. PHOTO: PARLIAMENT
Ahmed Aiham
21 October 2020, MVT 18:28

Minister of Home Affairs Imran Abdulla, on Wednesday, claimed that evidence connecting Ahmed Rilwan's enforced disappearance to former Vice President Ahmed Adeeb and senior officials of the past administrations went missing.

Responding to a question posed by opposition Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM)'s parliamentary member of Lhaviyani Atoll’s Naifaru constituency, MP Ahmed Shiyam, Minister Imran said the documents were confiscated by Maldives Police Service during his arrest over his involvement in the major opposition rally, May-Day parade, in 2015.

"The police officers in question should have the documents. I would have to begin an investigation to determine which officers were involved in my arrest and those that took the files", said Imran.

However, as a result of the ongoing investigations into the graft of the Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC), Imran said he was unable to sanction an investigation into the matter.

Imran was found guilty of terrorism over a speech given at the May Day rally and was serving a 12-year prison sentence before the Supreme Court acquitted him in November 2018.

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.

In 2019, the Commission on Investigation of Murders and Enforced Disappearances (DDCom) noted 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 concerns 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 Ibrahim Mohamed Solih of misusing Rilwan and murdered blogger Yameen Rasheed's names to secure votes in the 2018 elections, by pledging to ensure justice for the victims and their families.

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