Crime Legal Murder

Family and friends of slain blogger march for open trial

Family and friends of slain activist Yameen Rasheed marched in Malé on Monday, commemorating one year since he was killed and calling on the authorities to open the murder trial to the media and public.

The walk began around 4:30 pm at the western artificial beach but was quickly blocked by police officers on the capital’s main thoroughfare.

Special Ops officers tried to disperse the crowd of about 50 people and briefly detained two activists. But the marchers managed to make their way to the eastern artificial beach, where Yameen’s father and several others spoke with a megaphone and led chants of “open the trial”.

Justice would not be possible with secret judicial processes, said Hussain Rasheed, the blogger’s bereaved father.

Why did police fail to investigate numerous death threats reported by Yameen and who authorised and funded the premeditated murder, other speakers asked.

Clad in T-shirts with Yameen’s face and carrying banners and placards, family and friends were joined by opposition lawmakers, activists, and members of civil society groups.

Six young men, who police claim were self-radicalised and believed Yameen should be killed for “insulting Islam,” are standing trial for felony murder and remain in state custody.

Preliminary hearings have been closed since September at the prosecution’s behest, despite a constitutional requirement for trials to be conducted in an open and transparent manner.

On Sunday, Reporters Without Borders urged the Maldivian authorities to open the trial to ensure confidence in the outcome.

“The credibility of the justice system is a stake. The impunity that characterizes crimes of violence against journalists in Maldives is a curse and holding this trial behind closed doors is like an encouraging message to those who want to silence journalists for good,”  said Daniel Bastard, the head of RSF’s Asia-Pacific desk.

Photo of protest outside the Prosecutor General’s office by @Waddey

Full details are available at the link below:


Source URL:  Maldives Independent

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