August 19, 2014
We are concerned about the disappearance of Ahmad Rilwan Abdullah, a journalist with Minivan News, a web-based news outlet in the Maldives. Rilwan has not been seen or heard from since 8 August 2014.
Rilwan’s disappearance is of particular concern given that 15 journalists have reported receiving death threats through anonymous text messages just in the first week of August. All 15 journalists had published articles related to a sudden surge of gang-related violence and crime in Male. Rilwan had also covered these issues as well as the reports of death threats to journalists in recent articles. The Government has launched an investigation into Rilwan’s case, which we hope will be resolved promptly.
We call upon all parties to refrain from threatening media activists for performing their professional duties. We also urge the relevant authorities to address any threats and intimidation directed at journalists and other civil society activists and to do their utmost to ensure that they are able to operate without fear for their safety.