South Asians for Human Rights (SAHR), a regional human rights network is deeply disturbed by the horrific murder of Yameen Rasheed, a 29 year old Maldivian writer and activist, on 23 April 2017. It is alarming to learn about the consistent inaction of the police despite the repeated complaints to the Maldives Police Services of death threats to him. Yameen was a close friend of Ahmed Rilwan, disappeared in 2014, and had continuously demanded justice for his friend.
SAHR continues to observe the rapidly deteriorating situation of democratic values and the breakdown of rule of law in the Maldives since its last fact finding mission in 2015. Consequently, suppression of freedoms of speech and association has increased parallel to the ever shrinking space for the civil society; rival politicians face much harassment by the Government in power; and SAHR notes that the Government is steadily losing its accountability towards the people.
Therefore, SAHR strongly urges the government and other relevant authorities to conduct an independent investigation following due process and to bring the perpetrators before the law. It also calls upon the human rights commission of the Maldives to monitor the relevant procedures to ensure justice for Yameen Rasheed.
On behalf of the members of South Asians for Human Rights
Dr. Nimalka Fernando