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Two convicted of murdering blogger, case on appeal to High Court

Two people charged in the brutal murder of blogger and human rights activist Yameen Rasheed have appealed their cases.

The case was appealed to the High Court on Sunday.

The criminal court found Ismail Haisham and Ahmed Zihan guilty of the charges against them and delivered a verdict early. However, the remaining four suspects were not convicted of the charges. They are Hussain Ziyad from Kolhufushi Island in Meemu Atoll, Ismail Rasheed and Hassan Shifaz from Male City and Mohamed Dhifran from Gadhdhoo Island in Gaaf Dhaal Atoll. .

While the state appealed the case of Mohamed Dhifran and Ismail Rasheed, the state did not have enough evidence to appeal the cases against Hussain Ziyad and Hassan Shifaz, in connection with the murder.

The suspects found guilty of the charges against them were sentenced to life imprisonment. However, as they had already spent four years, eight months and 11 days in detention, the sentence has since been reduced to 20 years, three months and 19 days.

Yameen Rasheed was stabbed to death in the early hours of April 23, 2017 in an attack that shook the nation. His body was found on the stairs of his residence, with more than 30 stab wounds. While her attackers were captured on CCTV footage, police said they were “in disguise”.

The state charged six people with first-degree murder for Yameen’s death on July 30, 2017; Ismail Haisham Rasheed, Hussain Ziyad, Ismail Rasheed, Hassan Shifaz, Mohamed Dhifran and Ahmed Zihan Ismail.

The Presidential Commission on Enforced Disappearances and Murders in December 2018 revealed that investigations showed links between Yameen’s murder and two other high-profile killings; The 2012 murder of lawmaker Dr Afrasheem Ali and the 2014 disappearance and murder of journalist Ahmed Rilwan.

While Yameen had received several death threats prior to the fatal attack, they were reported to authorities, but to no avail. Therefore, her family accused the police of negligence.