Rilwan’s death: Munaz flew to Syria with Yameen’s help

Ahmed Muaz, aka ‘Gatu Mua,' arrested for the murders of Maldivian journalist Ahmed Rilwan and his friend and blogger Yameen Rasheed, pictured next to former President Yameen at a campaign event in 2018. | Photo: Twitter

Malé, Maldives – Presidential Commission on Deaths and Disappearances today said that Mohammed Munaz, accused of the enforced disappearance and murder of journalist Ahmed Rilwan Abdullah, left for Syria with the help of former President Abdullah Yameen.

The report of the commission on the enforced disappearance of Rilwan was handed over to President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih earlier today.

Speaking at a press conference after submitting the commission’s investigation report to the President, Death Commission member Misbah Abbas said Rilwan’s murder was premeditated and verbal attacks were being exchanged between extremists and those who disagreed with them on social media.

The commission’s member Misbah Abdullah told today that the commission’s investigation into the murder of Rilwan has revealed the involvement of some government officials in the abduction and murder of Rilwan and also that some government officials tried to release some of the arrested persons in the case.

Misbah said some of the people involved in the attack had close ties with the previous government officials. The accused, Mohammed Munaz (Munakko), met then President Abdullah Yameen before leaving for Syria and told him about the people involved in Rilwan’s murder and how it was done, Misbah said.

“The investigation also found that he left for Syria with the help of the then president.” Misbah explained.

The information was shared with the Death Commission by a person who was very close to Munaz and who was in Syria trying to recruit him to join them and go to war, Misbah said.

Rilwan was killed by being forced into a red car from Hulhumalé, put on a dinghy, in which he was taken to a fishing boat, where he was beheaded, the commission said today. Rilwan was killed and thrown overboard, the Death Commission said.

The boat was carrying members of extremists and criminal gangs, six of whom later went to Syria, the commission said.