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Sunday, April 23, 2017

MDP Calls For Full International Participation in Investigation of the Murder of Prominent Blogger Yameen Rasheed

April 23, Male’: The Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) learns with deep sadness this morning of the brutal and appalling murder of the pro-democracy, liberal blogger Yameen Rasheed.

The MDP calls on the Government and police to launch an immediate, full and transparent investigation into this murder, with the involvement of credible international investigative bodies.

The MDP strongly believes that the Maldivian Police Service does not possess the capacity, credibility or political impartiality to conduct such a high profile investigation on its own.

Yameen, a computer programmer, was found dead at his house early Sunday morning. He had been repeatedly stabbed in the chest.

Yameen had received repeated death threats on social media in the past few years.

On 25 December 2016, Yameen registered a complaint with the Maldives Police Service regarding the death threats he was receiving.

Yameen was a close friend of Ahmed Rilwan, the Maldives Independent journalist who was disappeared in 2014 and has not been found since.

Yameen was an outspoken and passionate advocate of liberal values, freedom of expression and transparency, particularly over authorities’ investigation into Rilwan’s disappearance.

Yameen actively worked with Rilwan’s family recently to file a case against the Maldives Police Service under the Right to Information Act, regarding the police investigation into Rilwan’s disappearance.

Last year, the Al Jazeera documentary Stealing Paradise revealed that President Yameen appeared to be involved in a cover-up over Rilwan’s disappearance.

The President ordered his then Home Minister “not to be overwhelmed” by the investigation into Rilwan’s disappearance.

Yameen Rasheed’s murder follows a spate of similar stabbings of prominent politicians and political commentators.

In October 2012 MP Afrasheem Ali was brutally murdered in the same manner.

Liberal blogger Hilath Rasheed almost died in June 2012 after his throat was slashed. The Police have not found the culprits.

Yameen was repeatedly threatened by groups under pseudonyms who labelled him as secular and anti-Islam.

He recently won a prestigious award Sandoz’s Healthcare Access Challenge on innovative ideas to healthcare access.

The MDP wishes to extend sincere condolences to his family and friends during this extremely difficult time.

ENDS

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