Murdered blogger’s family plead independent investigation from UN

Poster for the campaign demanding justice for murdered blogger and social media activist Yameen Rasheed.

Poster for the campaign demanding justice for murdered blogger and social media activist Yameen Rasheed.

The family of murdered blogger and social media activist Yameen Rasheed have officially filed an individual complaint to the United Nations’ High Commissioner and several Rapporteurs, pleading a full, independent and international investigation into his murder.

The complaint was sent to the UN High Commissioner for human rights, UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, and the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders. The complaint was filed on behalf of the family by their international counsel Jared Genser.

Yameen Rasheed’s family has also opened a special fund to raise EUR 40,000 (MVR 670,000) to cover the expenses of finding international aid to bring justice to Yameen. The family reported that they have received donations of EUR 5,650 so far.

The family stated that while they recognise the efforts of Maldives Police Service to probe Yameen’s murder, they are calling for international expertise due to Police’s handling of previous similar cases, and their failure to provide protection and security for Yameen even after he reported having received numerous death threats.

Police have so far arrested six suspects in the case but no details have been released on the detainees.

Despite harsh public censure, Police assert that they are making progress in the investigation. Stating that evidence samples have been sent abroad for further forensic analysis, Police also claimed that there is hope of apprehending the perpetrators.

Yameen Rasheed, 29, of Addu atoll Feydhoo island, was found murdered by the stairwell of his house in capital Male in the early hours of April 23. According to his family, his body had over 30 stab wounds. Police have since released surveillance footage of two people who had entered Yameen’s building prior to his murder.

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