Police have arrested three suspects in connection with the brutal murder of blogger Yameen Rasheed and the disappearance of journalist Ahmed Rilwan.
According to a police press release on Sunday, the three men were arrested on suspicion of conspiring and committing various crimes in connection with the disappearance and death of Rilwan and Yameen. They are accused of having committed acts of terrorism.
Police said they were arrested as part of the investigation by the Presidential Commission into Deaths and Disappearances.
The three individuals arrested were Ahmed Ismail, 39, Ismail Abdu-Raheem, 30, and Ahmed Muaz, 40. All three are from Male.
The three were arrested in connection with progress made by the Deaths and Disappearances Commission in its investigation with foreign experts. The commission’s report on Rilwan’s murder has already made several serious allegations against Ismail Abdu-Rahman.
He was accused of harassing Rilwan before he disappeared. His then residence, Maafannu Lagoon View, was also raided in connection with the case.
A report released by the commission into Rilwan’s disappearance alleges that Ismail Abu-Rahman belongs to an extremist jihadist group operating near the Furugan Mosque. The report says Rilwan was kidnapped due to a religious disagreement.
Investigating authorities revealed that he was trying to participate in the war in Syria. He was deported after being arrested by Turkish security forces for attempting to illegally cross the Turkish border in 2015. He was also charged in the case. However, the charges were dismissed after the government failed to obtain documents from the Turkish government.
Ahmed Ismail has a history of drug involvement and is accused of sending people to fight in Pakistan and Syria, police say.
Muaz was arrested in 2014 in connection with the murders of Rilwan and Yameen. He was arrested at the time for stealing CCTV cameras from the office of Minivan News, Rilwan’s workplace. He was acquitted by the criminal court.
Rilwan was last seen entering the ferry terminal to Hulhumalé before being abducted in August 2017. He was threatened with a knife and forced into a car outside his apartment in Hulhumalé.
The Presidential Commission previously said Rilwan was murdered by religious extremists after being kidnapped. Although three people have already been arrested in connection with the case, no one has been charged so far.
A group of people have been arrested and charged with terrorism following the kidnapping of Rilwan in Hulhumale”. They are Alif Rauf from Malé, Mohamed Nooradheen from Gaafu Alifu Vaadhoo, Mohamed Suaidh from Seenu Hulhudhoo. Alif and Nooradheen were released after their arrest. Suaidh, once released, reportedly flew to Syria to fight in the conflict, where he died. No official authority had confirmed it. However, his family informed the criminal court that he had died.
Six people have been brought to justice for attacking a man with a sharp object and killing him, following Yameen’s death. They are Ismail Haisham Rasheed, Ahmed Zihaan, Hassan Shifaz and Ismail Rasheed from Malé, Mohamed Dhifran from Gaafu Dhaalu Gadhoo and Hussain Ziyad from Meemu Kolhufushi.
He was assaulted in April 2017.
Only Haisham and Zihan were found guilty. The other defendants have not been convicted.