Male, April 23 (en.mihaaru.com) A renowned Maldivian social media activist and blogger, Yameen Rashid, was found murdered Saturday night.
Rasheed, 29, of Addu atoll Feydhoo island, was found with 14 stab wounds on the staircase of his house in capital Male.
Some close associates of the dead blogger reported that Yameen, who worked for Maldives Stock Exchange, had worked until very late Saturday night before walking home.
Police stated that his death was homicide by a weapon. They added in a tweet that their Serious and Organised Crimes department is currently investigating the murder.
Mihaaru has found that Yameen, who had long been criticizing government policies and various social issues on social media, was assaulted and murdered after he had officially filed at the police to investigate death threats he had received.
He was also a close friend of Ahmed Rilwan, the journalist of Maldives Independent that was abducted and has been missing for over two years.
Yameen was also behind the wildly popular English blog, “The Daily Panic”, in which he took a satirical take on the politics and issues of the Maldives.
His murder has sparked outcry as people took to social media, expressing worry and concern over the safety of the people.
The lawmaker of Kendhoo constituency and lawyer, Ali Hussain, said in a tweet, “Nobody in Maldives can get justice under this brutal regime. Stand up and fight for justice. Justice to Yaameen Rasheed.”
Three former Presidents have also condemned his brutal murder on social media.
Former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom said in a tweet, “Deeply shocked by the killing of social media activist Yameen Rasheed. May Allah bless his soul! His murderers must be bought to justice.”
His successor Former President Mohamed Nasheed wrote: “A brave voice, brutally silenced. Only an impartial & open investigation with international participation can provide justice for @yaamyn” while Former President Mohamed Waheed said that he was “angered” to receive the news of Yameen’s murder and called for an independent investigation.
MDP Seeks International Investigation
The Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) said in statement that it learns with deep sadness 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.
The MDP wishes to extend sincere condolences to his family and friends during this extremely difficult time.
(The featured image at the top shows Yameen Rashid, the Maldivian social media activist)