The Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) is deeply saddened and worried over the lack of credible investigation into the alleged abduction of Minivan News journalist Ahmed Rilwan on 8 August 2014.
Today marks one year since Rilwan’s disappearance and the authorities have failed to provide the family with any information on what may have happened to Rilwan. Meanwhile those arrested over his disappearance, belonging to known violent criminal gangs have been freed claiming they have no connection to his disappearance.
Rilwan’s disappearance came after months of fear mongering, hate speech and intimidation against him, journalists, human rights defenders and those who represented liberal ideologies. The MDP is remains deeply concerned about the lack of investigations into threats which has led to an environment of fear and an accepted intimidation against progressive thinking.
In the recent years, over 200 Maldivians, including key suspects connected to Rilwan’s alleged abduction have travelled abroad to fight amongst violent extremists including areas controlled by the group calling themselves Islamic State. While the government has denied the existence of violent Islam in the Maldives, it has failed to investigate any case relating to recruitment and financing of radical Islam in the Maldives.
The Maldives human rights situation has progressively eroded in the past few years with complete disregard to the safeguarding of rights enshrined in the Constitution.
The MDP fears for further decline in the human rights in the Maldives. As we mark one year since Rilwan’s abduction, the MDP strongly calls on the Government of Maldives to urgently ratify the United Nations Convention Against Enforced Disappearances and expedite a credible investigation on Rilwan’s disappearance.