Court closes doors on trial of Yameen Rasheed murder

Yameen Rasheed, 29, a popular social media activist and blogger was found murdered early April 23, 2017.

Yameen Rasheed, 29, a popular social media activist and blogger was found murdered early April 23, 2017.

The Criminal Court has decided to hold the murder trial of Yameen Rasheed, a renowned blogger who was brutally killed last April, behind closed doors.

The lower court is scheduled to hold the preliminary hearings of six out of seven suspects, who have been charged over the murder, on Sunday afternoon. According to the court, the state prosecution requested to close the doors on the trial.

The six suspects to be placed on trial are Ismail Haisham Rasheed, Ahmed Zihan Ismail, Ismail Rasheed and Hassan Shifaz of capital Male, Mohamed Dhifran of Gaafu Dhaal atoll Gahdhoo island, and Hussain Ziyad of Meemu atoll Kolhufushi.

(L-R): Ahmed Zihan Ismail, Ismail Haisham Rasheed and Thaif Ismail Rasheed: Police stated that the three men actively took part in the murder of blogger Yameen Rasheed. PHOTO/POLICE

(L-R): Ahmed Zihan Ismail, Ismail Haisham Rasheed and Thaif Ismail Rasheed: Police stated that the three men actively took part in the murder of blogger Yameen Rasheed. PHOTO/POLICE

The six are charged with homicide with sharp force. Out of the six, Ismail Haisham Rasheed and Ahmed Zihan Ismail were the two perpetrators physically involved in Yameen’s killing, while Ismail Rasheed was placed as a lookout outside Yameen’s apartment building the night of the murder.

Meanwhile, authorities are yet to disclose information on the seventh suspect. The Criminal Court has not scheduled a trial for the accused as well.

Yameen Rasheed, 29, was found in the stairwell of his home in Male at around 3 a.m. on April 23 with over 30 stab wounds to his face, neck and chest. He was rushed to the state-run Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH) where he passed away.

Police have confirmed that the perpetrators behind the crime harboured extremist ideologies and they had deemed Yameen to be sacrilegious, which is believed to be the motive of the murder.

“Their beliefs are very different; they had accused Yameen of sacrilege, which they believed to be enough grounds to slay him,” Police had said as they advised all Maldivian citizens to refrain from carrying out inhumane acts in the name of Islam, or participate in any activity that could be a mockery of religion on Maldivian soil.

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