Maldives pres impeded probe into missing journo: Al Jazeera expose

Posters put up by family and friends of missing journalist Ahmed Rilwan. PHOTO/MALDIVES INDEPENDENT

Posters put up by family and friends of missing journalist Ahmed Rilwan. PHOTO/MALDIVES INDEPENDENT

An Al Jazeera documentary has uncovered evidence suggesting that President Abdulla Abdul Gayoom had impeded the investigation into the disappearance of a journalist who went missing over two years ago.

Created by the Emmy and BAFTA winning Al Jazeera’s Investigative Unit, the documentary titled ‘Stealing Paradise’ contains leaked documents, text messages and recorded confessions that has blown the lid off mass corruption and abuse of power in the archipelago.

According to the Doha based broadcaster, the leak is the contents of three mobile phones which it says belonged to the now jailed former vice president Ahmed Adheeb Abdul Ghafoor.

The documentary shows an alleged text message sent by president Yameen to the then home minister Umar Naseer asking him to go easy in Rilwan’s investigation.

“Umar no need to be overwhelmed by Rilwan case,” the text message by president Yameen said.

“OK. noted sir,” was the alleged response by Umar.

A screen grab of the Al Jazeera documentary ‘Stealing Paradise’ shows an alleged text message sent by president Yameen to his then home minister Umar Naseer.

A screen grab of the Al Jazeera documentary ‘Stealing Paradise’ shows an alleged text message sent by president Yameen to his then home minister Umar Naseer.

Umar who suddenly stepped down in July after president Yameen stripped him of the authority to issue surveillance orders, however quickly denied the exchange of text messages with his former boss.

Umar’s denial was also backed by the President’s Office.

The journalist’s abduction has received global attention with Reporters Without Borders referring the case to the UN working group on enforced or involuntary disappearances. The US government and the European Union parliament have also expressed concern.

Rilwan’s family has continued to allege a government conspiracy and a massive cover-up backed by the police.

Rilwan’s family suspects he was investigating corrupt island deals.

 

 

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