Death Commission issued political report, not acceptable: PPM

Acting leader of the opposition PNC/ PPM coalition, Abdul Raheem Abdulla (Adhurey) speaking at a press conference. | Photo: PPM

Malé, Maldives – Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) has said that the report by Presidential Commission on Deaths and Disappearances of their findings into the enforced disappearance and murder of Ahmed Rilwan Abdulla is a political report.

The commission’s report is not based on any basis, PNC President Abdul Raheem Abdullah (Adhurey) told a press conference at the PPM office last night following.

Oppositions remarks on the matter came after 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.

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

Abdul Raheem said the Rilwan murder case had been investigated by the President Abdullah Yameen government.

He said the Death Commission has spoken differently about Rilwan’s death at different times. Former Death Commission Chairman and current Supreme Court Justice Husnu Suood said in 2019 that President Yameen had nothing to do with Rilwan’s murder, Abdul Raheem told.

Criticizing the Death Commission, Abdul Raheem said it was a game played by President Solih to win the upcoming presidential election. He said that this is why the commission was formed with people whom President Solih wants.

Abdul Raheem said he does not believe that justice will be done for Rilwan’s death under President Salih’s rule.

Abdul Raheem added that the government is now raising the issue because it is not sure that it will win the upcoming elections.

Following the commissions press conference yesterday, former President Abdullah Yameen has decided to charge Presidential Commission on Deaths and Disappearances member Misbah Abbas, with a defamation suit over his allegations 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.

Yameen’s lawyers issued a statement last night saying that the allegations made by the Death Commission at a press conference held at the President’s Office yesterday were untrue.

The statement said that Misbah’s remarks were made by someone without any basis. Misbah, in connection with the disappearance of journalist Ahmed Rilwan, has tarnished his reputation with his accusations against him, the statement read. 

The statement said that Yameen is the candidate of the PPM in the upcoming presidential election and Misbah’s remarks were made to achieve a specific political objective. So, the defamation suit against Misbah is now underway.

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.

The Death Commission has said that sending a person to war in a foreign country by a terrorist group or terrorists not belonging to such group and attempting to send a person to war or encouraging it is an offense under Section 16 of the Prevention of Terrorism Act. The punishment for such an offense is imprisonment for a term of between ten and fifteen years.

President Yameen chose to exercise his constitutional right to remain silent when questioned by the commission on the Rilwan case.