Slain Maldivian blogger’s father demands justice

Urges India to pressure Maldives to find killers of Yameen

May 20, 2017 10:47 pm | Updated 11:50 pm IST - NEW DELHI

Hussein Rasheed, father of  Yameen Rasheed.

Hussein Rasheed, father of Yameen Rasheed.

The father of a prominent Maldivian blogger who was murdered last month has asked for India’s help for securing justice for his son.

Hussein Rasheed alleged in a chat with The Hindu that his son Yameen Rasheed was murdered by gangsters who probably were employed by Islamists in the Maldives.

“The gangsters did not have any enmity with my son. They probably got a contract to kill Yameen from those who had been threatening him for years,” said the father, who held the Maldivian government responsible for failing to provide security to his son.

Yameen, a 29-year-old IT professional, worked in his office in Male late into the night on April 23. But as he entered his housing complex, he was stabbed multiple times near the lift and was left to die even as his mother and brother waited for him upstairs.

Mr. Hussein Rasheed, who is associated with the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) of exiled former President Mohamed Nasheed, urged the Government of India to put pressure on the Maldives government to find the killers of Yameen.

Studied in India

Yameen studied in India and returned to the Maldives in 2010 to work in the IT and telecom sector, but also formed a group of bloggers who wrote about human rights, plurality and tolerance. The blogs were not liked by the Islamists who regard the bloggers as infidels, said Mr. Hussein Rasheed. “The Maldives is a 100% Muslim society, but we are a very tolerant country and do not accept orthodoxy of any kind. But the Islamists want to change that and impose their rules,” he said asking for greater awareness of the situation in the archipelago nation.

Not convinced

Following the murder, the Government of Maldives has arrested seven persons, but Mr. Hussein Rasheed is not convinced and is seeking an international investigation. To that extent, he will formally appeal to the Government of India next week. He is also planning to move the Human Rights Council of the U.N. in Geneva.

“What we have gone through is very painful and we want the world to wake up and help people like us who are being persecuted for political beliefs,” he said, showing the photograph of his son’s body that he was shown on the morning of April 23 by the police in Male.

Mr. Hussein Rasheed has already appealed to the United States and visited Colombo to meet western envoys. He will fly to Geneva in the first week of June.

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