8 August 2022
Today marks eight years since Ahmed Rilwan Abdullah (28), a journalist and popular blogger of http://moyameehaa.blogspot.com/ was abducted at knifepoint and disappeared. It is believed that he was attacked by violent extremists who alleged that he was an offender against Islam. In addition to other socio-political issues, Rilwan wrote extensively about violent extremism in the Maldives.
For four years Rilwan’s family suffered at the hands of President Yameen Abdul Gayyoom’s government that refused to investigate the forced disappearance, assisted suspects to flee the country and protect others involved in it. For the next four years the family waited for promises of justice made by President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih.
We welcome the efforts of the Commission on Deaths and Disappearances, and acknowledge the arrest of three individuals in June 2022, who are believed to be connected to the abduction and disappearance of Rilwan.
The fact remains, however, that those who commissioned the crime roam free. The same people who pose a threat to dozens of individuals who have been threatened similarly to Rilwan.
President Solih pledged to bring the perpetrators of this heinous crime to justice. It is one of the reasons why Maldivians voted him in 2018. We remind the President that until those behind the forced disappearance of Rilwan is brought to justice, his pledges for justice will remain unfulfilled.
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