Criminal Court remands suspects arrested for the murders of Rilwan and Yameen

Photo: Mihaaru

Malé, Maldives – Criminal Court of Maldives on Monday remanded the three suspects arrested for the murders of Maldivian journalist Ahmed Rilwan and his friend and blogger Yameen Rasheed.

The three arrested in connection to the murders are,

  • Ahmed Ismail, Ahandhu (39), Ma. Faagafila
  • Ismail Abdul Raheem, Isu (30), M. Lagoon view
  • Ahmed Muaz, Gatu MuaAh (40), Dhaftharu

Reports suggest that the police made the arrests following an investigation by the Presidential Commission on Deaths and Disappearances (DDCOM) assisted by a foreign investigator.

Police have not released details of the investigations.

Ismail Abdu Raheem, also mentioned in the Presidential Commission on Deaths and Disappearances (DDCOM) report for allegedly causing physical damage to Rilwan’s friend was previously arrested and deported while trying to enter Syria through the Syria-Turkey border.

Ahmed Ismail has criminal records related to drug offences and is reportedly a recruiter for Syrian conflict. He is allegedly the mastermind of the plot to abduct Rilwan.

Ahmed Muaz was arrested in 2014 for removing the security camera outside the Maldives Independent office after which a machete knife was buried in the door of the building. He also has a history of assault, burglaries, blackmail and extortion.

Rilwan disappeared in August 2014 outside his apartment complex in Hulhumalé. DDCOM’s initial report states Maldivian branch of Al-Gaeda abducted and killed Rilwan after protests and advocating for religious freedom.

DDCOM investigations showed links between Rilwan’s murder and two other high-profile murders in the country; the 2012 murder of parliamentarian Dr Afrasheem Ali, and the 2017 stabbing of Rilwan’s best friend and democracy activist Yameen Rasheed.