Maldives Police Service says blogger and social media activist Yameen Rasheed was likely killed by religious extremists.
During a press conference on Wednesday, police revealed that Rasheed’s death was not a result of a political motive, but possibly religious extremism. Police also said assistance of four countries was sought during the investigation.
According to police, Ismail Haisam of H. Annaarumaage and Ahmed Zihaan Ismail of M. Iraasmikge carried out the killing while Ismail Rasheed of M. Thaaif was guarding the entrance of Yameen Rasheed’s apartment building in Maafannu ward.
In addition to the three, Hassan Shifaz of M. Kudhehi, Mohamed Yashfau Rasheed from GDh. Thinadhoo, Ahmed Nasooh Abdulla from GDh. Gadhdhoo, Mohamed Ifran and Hussein Ziyad from M. Kolhufushi are also in police custody.
Police said Rasheed left his office at 2:23 a.m. on the night of the murder, April 22, 2017. Two men had followed him to Jetty no. 3 and headed back towards Fishermen’s Park. Police also revealed that one of the men was on the phone when they were following him.
Noting that the men in custody are not well educated, police said, based on what they have said, it is likely that they killed Rasheed due to his religious views.
Police asserted that they have not destroyed any evidence and that the evidence required for the court case have been forwarded to the Prosecutor General’s Office.