Slain Maldivian blogger Yameen Rasheed’s father seeks foreign probe

Colombo: The father of the murdered Maldivian blogger Yameen Rasheed pleaded for an international investigation Friday, saying he had no confidence in the government to deliver justice.

Hussain Rasheed, 54, was speaking in neighbouring Sri Lanka where he is meeting foreign diplomats to put pressure on the Maldives government to carry out an independent investigation.

A tearful Rasheed described seeing the body of his 29- year-old son, who had been murdered hours earlier at his home by unidentified attackers.

“His throat was slit, there were 14 stab injuries that I counted, but later we saw he had been stabbed in 35 places and part of his skull was missing,” Rasheed told reporters in Colombo.

The government has promised an investigation, but Rasheed said he could not trust them to deliver justice. “I heard about 18 people have been killed in the Maldives like this in the past three years, but no one has been prosecuted.”

Yameen Rasheed, who poked fun at the nation’s politicians on his blog The Daily Panic, was found in the stairwell of his Male apartment with multiple stab wounds to his chest and neck. He died in hospital.

He had lodged complaints with the police about death threats he had received in December, but they were not taken seriously. On Friday his father said Maldives police had acted suspiciously, washing down the scene of the crime and having the blood-splattered wall repainted. They also prevented anyone from taking pictures.

The United Nations has already called on the Male government to order an independent investigation into the killing of Rasheed, the third media figure to be targeted in the troubled archipelago nation in the last five years.

Blogger Ismail Rasheed narrowly escaped death when he was stabbed by an unidentified attacker in 2012. A journalist with the independent Minivan News, Ahmed Rilwan, was likely abducted in August 2014 and has been missing ever since.

The Maldives regime has already faced censure from the UN over the arrest and jailing of a former president and a former defence minister