Maldivian blogger stabbed to death, Opposition demands international probe

Twitter profile page of Yameen Rasheed.  

Prominent Maldivian blogger Yameen Rasheed was stabbed to death in Male early on Sunday, his relatives and colleagues have said.

The dissident blogger was found in the stairwell of his apartment, with multiple stab wounds in the neck and chest. He succumbed to injuries soon after being taken to hospital, according to news reports.

Describing himself “disobedient writer” in his twitter profile, 29-year-old Rasheed maintained a blog —‘The Daily Panic’— popular among Maldivians for its satire and critical commentary on political developments in the Indian Ocean island.

The opposition has demanded an international probe into Rasheed’s suspected killing. “A brave voice, brutally silenced. Only an impartial & open investigation with international participation can provide justice for @yaamyn,” former president and exiled opposition leader Mohamed Nasheed tweeted. His Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) in a statement called for “full international participation” in the investigation.

The attack on the young blogger comes at a politically turbulent time in Male, following the opposition’s unsuccessful bid to impeach the speaker of parliament.

Rasheed is the third media personality to be targeted in the Maldives in the past five years. Ahmed Rilwan, a journalist with Minivan News, was likely abducted in August 2014 and has been missing since. Another blogger Ismail Rasheed or Hilath, was stabbed and wounded by an unidentified person in 2012, news agency AFP reported.

Yameen Rasheed had relentlessly questioned the impunity and lack of justice in the case of his disappeared friend and journalist Rilwan In September 2016, Maldivian police raided the offices of Male-based The Maldives Independent newspaper — reportedly linked to Mr. Nasheed’s MDP — following its journalists’ interviews to Al Jazeera. The television channel had aired a documentary accusing President Abdulla Yameen of money laundering to the tune of $1.5 billion, charges his government denied.

Amid growing concerns over the perceived authoritarianism of President Abdulla Yameen’s government, the Maldivian police arrested Qasim Ibrahim, presidential candidate in 2013 and leader of the Jumhooree Party (JP), earlier this month. Mr. Ibrahim was among the four signatories to an opposition unity deal that sought to topple the Yameen regime.

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Printable version | Apr 18, 2021 5:18:22 AM |

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