A news journalist, working with the Minivan News, in Maldives, Ahmed Rilwan Abdulla has been missing since 8th August 2014.
AHRC has received information from the Minivan News in Maldives that there is credible evidence that the journalist has been abducted, with the recent spate of incidents of intimidation created by religious groups in affiliation with local gangs there.
Analysis of CCTV footage from the ferry terminal at which he was seen last, it appears that Rilwan was being followed on the night of his disappearance, while witnesses close to his home has heard screams and seen a person being forced into a vehicle on the night of the 8th August 2014.
Minivan News, have informed that police have been slow to react in the investigation into this disappearance and friends and family have begun a country wide search and investigation into finding Rilwan.
Residents in Maldives have little faith , that Rilwan will be found and noted with concern the persistent failure of the authorities in the recent past, to adequately investigate into similar incidents in the past – in particular the attempted murder of Ismail ‘Hilath’ Rasheed in 2012
The current climate of fear in the country was amply demonstrated by a series of vigilante attacks and abductions upon perceived secularists in June this year, which no news outlet other than Minivan News was willing to report.
More recently, a spate of gang-related attacks were accompanied by anonymous texts to journalists, warning them not to report on gang activities in which instance too, police made no arrests.
According to information we received, before his disappearance, Rilwan has faced persistent intimidation from groups accusing him of breaching the country’s strict religious laws by promoting secularism online.
The AHRC calls on the government of Maldives to take a more proactive stance on such attacks and to conduct an impartial investigation into Rilwan’s disappearance.
H.Thiyaramoo, Boduthakurufaanu Magu, Male’, Maldives
+960 963 8379+960 963 8379; firstname.lastname@example.org