The Rilwan & Yameen Foundation 9 February 2021
In relation to information publicised by the Commission on Deaths and Disappearances
The family of forcefully disappeared journalist Ahmed Rilwan Abdullah notes the following after observing the information made public by the Commission on Deaths and Disappearance of 9 February 2021.
- Rilwan’s family raised concern over the fact that the Commission, after three years since its inception, has not yet forwarded a single case out of the 27 incidents that the Commission is investigating, for prosecution. The family noted that the Commission assured completion of investigations within two years during a press conference it held in 2018 (See footnote 1). The family also appealed to the Commission to treat all cases with equal urgency and not prioritise Rilwan’s case in particular.
- The Commission said that the investigation of murdered blogger Yameen Rasheed is delayed due to an ongoing trial in connection to the case. The trial mentioned has been ongoing since October 2017. Hence, the family calls on all relevant authorities, especially the Department of Judicial Administration, to take necessary action in order to expedite the trial.
- While the Commission said that it has forwarded reports in connection to some of the other investigations to the President, the family noted that no information on the progress of those investigations was shared by the Commission. The family reminded the Commission that every family is entitled to the information they await from the Commission and urged the Commission to disclose the progress of its work.
- The family welcomes with hope, the news that the Commission has made progress with more information on the case of Rilwan’s abduction and encouraged anyone who may have helpful information to come forward. The family also urged the Commission to consider in their investigation the various written material by different authors in relation to the disappearance of Rilwan.
- On 7 February 2021 the Commission released a photo of a knife that the Commission believes was used at the scene of crime from Rilwan’s abduction. It must be noted that although the knife was in the possession of the police during the trial of three men charged for the abduction of Rilwan, the 2018 verdict in the case observes that the knife was not presented to court as evidence. None of those police officers or prosecutors responsible for having withheld evidence from the court being disciplined raises questions about the way that the State handles such matters.
Footnote: 1. https://raajje.mv/47503