Family of murdered blogger Yameen Rasheed has filed a negligence lawsuit against Maldives Police Service.
Rasheed’s father Hussain Rasheed and lawyer Husnu Suood held a press conference on Wednesday, and revealed that the lawsuit was filed with the Civil Court earlier in the day.
Suood, a former Attorney General, said the death threats Rasheed had been receiving since 2010 were reported to police. In addition to the threats reported in 2014 and 2016, Rasheed tagged Maldives Police Service on social media and expressed concern about the threats as well.
“If (police) fulfilled their legal responsibilities, this murder would not have taken place. Police have to protect every Maldivian citizen. It is their duty to investigate such death threats against citizens. If they fail to fulfill that duty, events that follow are a result of their negligence.”
Suood said they have lost trust in police due to their negligence with regard to the case, and called for the involvement of foreign parties in the investigation. He added that Rasheed will not get justice unless an independent investigation is carried out.
Rasheed’s father said the family wants an independent, fair investigation into the brutal murder.
“We want dangerous criminals to be arrested, given due punishment and for society to become peaceful. We don’t want our beloved son’s case to be forgotten,” he said.
So far, two male suspects have been taken into police custody. The first one is reportedly an 18-year-old from GDh. Atoll. He has been remanded for 15 days following his arrest on Monday. Details of the second suspect remain unclear as police have not revealed any information. However, VNews’ sources say the second suspect works for a government company.
Rasheed, a 29-year-old from Addu City’s Feydhoo, who poked fun at the nation's politicians on his blog The Daily Panic, was found in the stairwell of his apartment building with multiple stab wounds to his neck and chest on April 23, and died shortly after being taken to hospital.
He was reportedly stabbed 32 times, including 14 times to his chest.
While police have been under fire for ignoring death threats against Rasheed, his family and others are calling for the involvement of foreign experts in the investigation.
Rasheed was a vocal critic of the current government and 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 Tuesday police rejected 800 letters requesting for an independent investigation into the murder.
The letters were given to police by the blogger's father, who went to the station with supporters.
After rejecting the letters, police asked Rasheed to return to the station and take them away.
He said while the police had supported the family after the murder and promised to find the killers, the family has been kept in the dark regarding the investigation.