Slain blogger’s family ‘left with no answers and little hope’
“According to the official narrative, no one ordered my son’s murder. No one paid these suspects. They acted on their own,” Yameen Rasheed’s father wrote in an op-ed.
The father of liberal blogger Yameen Rasheed questioned the official narrative of his son’s murder in an op-ed published Monday in the Indian Express.
Hussain Rasheed expressed concern about the secrecy and lack of access to the closed-door murder trial.
“According to the official narrative, no one ordered my son’s murder. No one paid these suspects. They acted on their own. But without access to the trial, there is no way of being sure that these seven suspects are the only — or even the actual — people responsible for my son’s murder,” he wrote.
The refusal to heed calls by family and friends to open the trial was “one part of the painful denial of justice our family has had to endure,” he added.
“After a year of Yameen’s assassination, we are left with no answers and little hope.”
According to police, the 29-year-old human rights defender was killed by a group of self-radicalised young men who believed he was guilty of insulting Islam.
“The investigators went as far as to claim that these suspects were not groomed by any local sheikh, nor were they part of an organised extremist group in the country that is targeting writers who hold moderate or secular views,” Hussain Rasheed continued.
Yameen’s father noted the police refusal to share information with family during the investigation or to accept letters from the public asking for an independent probe.
“This callousness, combined with the unusual time it took for the police to first inform us of Yameen’s murder, inconsistencies in their public statements, frequent changes of investigating officers involved in the case, and the hasty clean-up of the murder site has led to widespread suspicion that the police may have been involved in the murder — or its cover-up,” he said.
The government also rejected the family’s request for an independent foreign-led investigation into the murder. It has been revealed that police turned down forensic help from DNA experts in the UK.
Hussain Rasheed previously accused police of destroying evidence. The family’s negligence lawsuit against police for failing to take action when Yameen reported death threats since 2014 was thrown out by the civil court.
Yameen was leading the fight to find his friend, abducted journalist Ahmed Rilwan, who has been missing since August 2014.
“The truth is that the Maldives is a dangerous place for anyone who dares to criticise the ruling regime, or who expresses opinions about the state of society. As the president himself warned following Yameen’s murder: ‘Anything can happen’. There is total impunity.”