Family and friends of slain activist Yameen Rasheed marched in Malé on Monday, commemorating one year since he was killed and calling on the authorities to open the murder trial to the media and public.
The walk began around 4:30 pm at the western artificial beach but was quickly blocked by police officers on the capital’s main thoroughfare.
Special Ops officers tried to disperse the crowd of about 50 people and briefly detained two activists. But the marchers managed to make their way to the eastern artificial beach, where Yameen’s father and several others spoke with a megaphone and led chants of “open the trial”.
Justice would not be possible with secret judicial processes, said Hussain Rasheed, the blogger’s bereaved father.
Why did police fail to investigate numerous death threats reported by Yameen and who authorised and funded the premeditated murder, other speakers asked.
Clad in T-shirts with Yameen’s face and carrying banners and placards, family and friends were joined by opposition lawmakers, activists, and members of civil society groups.
Six young men, who police claim were self-radicalised and believed Yameen should be killed for “insulting Islam,” are standing trial for felony murder and remain in state custody.
Preliminary hearings have been closed since September at the prosecution’s behest, despite a constitutional requirement for trials to be conducted in an open and transparent manner.
On Sunday, Reporters Without Borders urged the Maldivian authorities to open the trial to ensure confidence in the outcome.
“The credibility of the justice system is a stake. The impunity that characterizes crimes of violence against journalists in Maldives is a curse and holding this trial behind closed doors is like an encouraging message to those who want to silence journalists for good,” said Daniel Bastard, the head of RSF’s Asia-Pacific desk.
— Hudha 🎈 (@AhmedHudha) April 23, 2018
— LubnaHawwa 🎈❓ (@HawwaLubna) April 23, 2018
“Huddha dhinee kaakuhey?”
“Huddha,” bec it’s about impunity.
Impunity is the most powerful tool of injustice employed by this Govt: a year on, and attempts to seek justice are systematically obstructed & the pepeptrators are seen to be protected. #OpentheTrial #WeAreYaamyn 🎈 pic.twitter.com/LSh8F86kGz
— Eva Abdulla 🎈❓ (@evattey) April 23, 2018
1 year ago, a young man almost my age got brutally murdered. We want justice for yameen. The pain yameen’s family go through is unimaginable, the pain is endless. We are with you, with all of you. @YumnaRashyd @mysticaish #JusticeForYameen #OpenTheTrial #WeAreYaameen 🎈 pic.twitter.com/vP8E7zYCU1
— 𝕹𝖆𝖟𝖚 𝕹𝖆𝖘𝖊𝖊𝖒 (@Nazunaseem) April 23, 2018
#Rilwan’s father today – a picture of his abducted son on his chest and one of his son’s best friend, murdered, on his back.
— Alice in Mordis 🎈 (@ciceline) April 23, 2018
It takes so much courage to a Father to stand there with that placard who's Son has gone missing since 2014 & his son's friend @yaamyn was slaughtered in his fight to #FindMoyameehaa a year ago. #PhotoOfTheDay
#OpenTheTrial #JusticeForYaamyn #FindMoyameehaa pic.twitter.com/pwZq7vExsV
— Sheeza Aishath 🎈 (@SheezaAishath) April 23, 2018
— Mohamed Azmeel 🎈 (@Azoo_Azmeel) April 23, 2018
— Sara Naseem 🎈 (@sara_naseem) April 23, 2018
I hope @PG_Office @AishathBisham can hear the public call to #OpenTheTrial of @yaamyn. The institution needs to proactively work & establish justice in the #Maldives. @WeAreYaamyn @amnesty @kuminaidoo @hrw @raad_zeid @UNHumanRights @OHCHRAsia pic.twitter.com/We3No8h1jU
— Forme 🎈 (@fourmea) April 23, 2018
A funny, dedicated, passionate humanist and human rights campaigner. It's been a year since Yameen Rasheed was brutally murdered in the Maldives. Demand #JusticeForYameen and transparent justice #OpenTheTrial https://t.co/jzxmrKJ8eX #WeAreYaamyn
— IHEU (@IHEU) April 23, 2018
— #JazeeraRaees (@Simwarr) April 23, 2018
You will be remembered forever @yaamyn
You left a legacy that cannot be matched.
You are an inspiration and beacon of hope for people like me who never even got the chance to meet you. Taken too soon but your legacy lives on…#OpenTheTrial #WeAreYaamyn pic.twitter.com/8aYiN9V8dn
— Abdulla Adam (@Abdulla_Adam) April 23, 2018
— WeAreYaamyn (@WeAreYaamyn) April 24, 2018
Yameen Rasheed's sister.
She will fight for #JusticeForYaamyn.
There is a citizen movement behind her and her family in their difficult fight to get justice for her brother.@PGO_MV @judiciarymv#Hulhuvaa ⚖️ #OpenTheTrial ⚖️#JusticeForYaamyn#WeAreYaamyn 🎈 pic.twitter.com/kMhcvMX4bg
— Humay (@HumayAG) April 23, 2018
— Mickail Naseem 🎈 (@MickailNaseem) April 23, 2018
— FeZzzz 🎈 (@ZeFfffffff) April 23, 2018
Photo of protest outside the Prosecutor General’s office by @Waddey