September 4, 2014
The family of missing journalist Ahmed Rilwan Abdulla have submitted a petition calling for the Majlis’s national security committee to find answers to questions regarding his disappearance 27 days ago.
“We have submitted the petition with over 5000 signatures and we hope we will get the support from the members of all parties in our quest to find our brother,”
Today’s petition asked the national security committee to request relevant authorities to give answers to questions which “arose due to the negligence of the Maldives Police Services in searching for Rilwan.”
Additionally, the Maldivian Democracy Network (MDN) has today written an open letter (Dhivehi) to the Commissioner of Police Hussain Waheed, expressing its own concerns about the investigation and requesting a public response.
MDN’s letter noted that the police service “has a responsibility to reveal information regarding the case in a manner which will bring satisfaction to the concerned public, to a level where you do not lose the trust that the public holds in you.”
The Human Rights Commission has already released a statement noting that it had yet to be updated on the authorities’ attempts to locate the missing journalist, having made a request for information more than two weeks ago.
MDN’s letter requested information on the following points:
– Whether the reported confiscation of a vehicle and orders for a number of arrests are related to witness reports of a man being forced into a car outside Rilwan’s home just minutes after his last confirmed sighting.
– The apparent failure of police to follow the norms of procedure in foreign countries which includes making public photos of the victim and providing a contact for the public to call with information regarding the person
– Potential cooperation between police and friends and family of Rilwan who have continued activities to raise awareness of the disappearance, including communication regarding activities that could hinder investigations.
The unresolved questions in the family’s petition also included whether standard procedures were being followed and whether links with a reported abduction had been properly explored.
“These are also matters on which state institutions have so far conducted no work in order to reach the truth,” read the petition submitted this morning.
Prior to the petition, Rilwan’s family had presented MPs with a letter last week requesting their help in the search.
“Hear our plea. Please. I’m calling on all leaders. We are going to all leaders in the Maldives. We are telling them please calm our hearts. For Allah’s sake, please tell us what has happened to our son,” Rilwan’s mother, Aminath Easa, pleaded with authorities.
In response to a letter from Easa earlier this week, the campaign to find Rilwan continued yesterday as hundreds of people affected by violent crime gathered at Malé City Hall to call for justice.