The police have confirmed that religious extremists were behind the brutal slaying of notorious blogger Yameen Rasheed.
The 29-year-old social media activist was found in the stairwell of his home in capital Male’ at around 3 a.m. with over 30 stab wounds to his face, neck and chest on April 23. He was rushed to the state-run Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH) where he passed away.
During a press conference held on Wednesday, Superintendent of Police Ahmed Shameem revealed that Yameen’s killers had no formal Islamic education, but that they harboured extremist ideologies. They had deemed Yameen to be sacrilegious, Shameem said.
This is believed to be the motive of the murder, according to the police.
“We found out that the culprits were quite young – they were all below the age of 25. Their beliefs are very different; they had accused Yameen of sacrilege, which they believed to be enough grounds to slay him.”
The police also revealed that they have identified other individuals who were involved in the murder and that they have forwarded the information they gathered to the Major Crimes Centre of the police for further analyses.
Speaking about the international pressure that was placed on the case, Superintendent Shameem said that they had been updating the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as soon as new information was uncovered.
“We’d like to note that the foreign bodies that were following the investigation were satisfied with the police’s findings,” Shameem clarified.
The police had identified three individuals who were actively involved in Yameen’s killing.
These individuals are; Ismail Haisham Rasheed and Ahmed Zihan from Male’, who were the two perpetrators physically involved in Yameen’s killing, while Thaif Ismail Rasheed was placed as a lookout outside Yameen’s apartment building.
The police advised all Maldivian citizens to refrain from carrying out inhumane acts in the name of Islam, or participate in any activity that could be a mockery of religion on Maldivian soil.