The government of the Maldives on Sunday condemned the brutal murder of social media activist and blogger, Yameen Rasheed, as an attack on the democracy and media freedom of the country.
The 29 year old Yameen Rasheed of Addu atoll Feydhoo island was found dead with 14 stab wounds by the staircase of his house in capital Male in the early hours of Sunday morning.
In a statement denouncing the murder, the President’s Office stated that such violence against a youth of the nation is a heavy grievance. Declaring that the loss of Yameen Rasheed is a loss to the social media community of the Maldives, the President’s Office strongly pledged to take every action to ensure the safety and protection of the people, and to bring the perpetrators behind Yameen’s murder to justice.
The government also disclosed that a review of Police’ operating procedure for such major investigations is currently underway in an attempt to expedite action against threats to journalists and the people.
Yameen Rasheed had received numerous death threats before his murder, which he had reported to the police for investigation and to request protection. Police declared that they have been investigating the threats and questioned some of the involved suspects, but did not specify whether any arrests had been made.
Yameen Rasheed had gained much popularity online for his English blog, “The Daily Panic”, which carries his views on Maldivian politics and social issues relayed in a satirical tongue-in-cheek narrative. In his blog, he had criticised government policies, problems in the Maldivian society and religious extremism ideologies, which had ultimately drawn a stream of death threats, according to his family and friends.