MALE (AFP) – A liberal blogger was stabbed to death in the Maldives’ capital on Sunday (April 23), his family and colleagues said, the latest media personality to be targeted in the troubled honeymoon destination.
Yameen Rasheed, 29, was found in the stairwell of his Male apartment with multiple stab wounds to his neck and chest. He died after being taken to hospital.
His blog, The Daily Panic, was known for poking fun at the nation’s politicians.
“With The Daily Panic, I hope to cover and comment upon the news, satirise the frequently unsatirisable politics of Maldives,” he wrote on his blog.
Colleagues said Mr Rasheed had recently complained to police about death threats received through his social media accounts.
He is the third media figure to be targeted in the Maldives in the past five years. Blogger Ismail Rasheed narrowly escaped death when he was stabbed by an unidentified attacker in 2012.
Ahmed Rilwan, a journalist with the independent Minivan News, was likely abducted in August 2014 and has been missing ever since.
Colleagues said Mr Rasheed was Mr Rilwan’s friend and had been publicly campaigning for an investigation into the disappearance.
Past and current presidents condemned the killing.
“We will not stand idly by while such acts of hatred are forced upon our citizens,” President Abdulla Yameen said, appealing for people to come forward with information.
Exiled opposition leader and ex-president Mohamed Nasheed demanded an international investigation.
Mr Nasheed, who is living in London, said on Twitter that “a treasured soul has been stolen from us”.
The killing comes as political tension mounts in the Maldives after last month’s failed opposition bid to impeach the parliamentary speaker. A coalition of opposition parties, led by Mr Nasheed, is trying to undermine Mr Yameen before elections next year. It faces an uphill struggle, with all opposition leaders now in exile or in jail after a years-long crackdown on dissent under Mr Yameen’s leadership.
The clampdown has raised fears over the country’s stability and dented its image as a tourist paradise.
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