Family of murdered social media activist and blogger, Yameen Rasheed, have called on authorities to involve international experts in the investigation.
The 29-year-old, from S. Feydhoo, was discovered near the staircase of his home in Male’ in the early hours of Sunday morning with multiple stab wounds to the chest, neck and head. He was rushed to state-run Indhira Gandhi Memorial Hospital after being discovered by a person living in the house, but died shortly after.
In statement, the family said while it has been 48 hours since Rasheed’s murder, no one has been arrested yet, but they wish for the investigation to be carried out at a fast pace.
The family also expressed belief that involvement of international experts is required to carry out a credible investigation and called on President Abdulla Yameen and the police for such an investigation.
They welcomed President Yameen’s assurance that all of the state’s resources will be utilized in the investigation.
In addition, the statement highlighted repeated death threats Rasheed had received and said that he had lodged a formal complaint with the police on December 22 last year. Despite police’s failure to investigate the threats and give him necessary protection, the family expressed hope that authorities will bring the people behind the heinous crime to justice.
However, the family expressed concern about failure of the country’s authorities and the criminal justice system thus far.
Highlighting that Rasheed was a courageous and kind young man who fought against injustice despite threats, the family vowed to continue to fight for his justice, however long it takes.
Since the country woke up to the shocking news of Rasheed’s death, it has been in mourning. Various political leaders, political parties, activists, the media, the public, as well as international community are grieving Rasheed’s death. He has been described as a brave, free speech and human rights activist.
He was a close friend of missing journalist Ahmed Rilwan, who also received several threats before his disappearance more than two-and-a-half years ago.
On Monday evening media personnel, Rasheed’s family and well-wishers gathered at the Artificial Beach in Male’ for a "red baloon" event, calling for justice for Rasheed. Over 60 journalists and media personnel attended the event. They observed a moment of silence and released several red balloons into the air.
The red balloon, which has taken over social media since Sunday morning, was Rasheed's last tweet and has become a symbol associated with him.