K. Male'
22 May 2024 | Wed 16:51
A rally staged in the case of journalist Ahmed Rilwan
A rally staged in the case of journalist Ahmed Rilwan
Ashwa Faheem
Murder of Ahmed Rilwan, Yameen Rasheed
Gov't assures DDCom’s reports on journalists’ murder case will be publicized
12 organizations had demanded to publicized the reports
The commissioned will be dissolved by month-end
The government says it will decide whether to disclose the full report or parts of it, after receiving the report

The government has assured the public that the reports of findings by the Presidential inquiry Commission on Disappearances and Deaths (DDCom) in connection with the murder cases of journalists’ Ahmed Rilwan and Yameen Rasheed will be shared with the public.

President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu recently decided to dissolve the commission by 31 May 2024.

DDcom will be sharing their reports will the president, as per Section 9 of the Presidential Commission’s Act, which stipulates that all reports should be sent to the president, the commission stressed that they are legally bound to comply with this.

Responding to a question by RaajjeMV, Chief Spokesperson at the President’s Office Heena Waleed revealed that the contents of the report would be shared as soon as they receive the report.

Further, it has been revealed that the government would decide whether to disclose all the information contained in the report or some of it, only after receiving the report.

Earlier, the presidential inquiry commission announced that they will publicize redacted reports of their findings in the murder cases by month-end.

In response to a press release issued by six organizations and associations of the Maldives on Tuesday regarding the failure of the presidential inquiry commission in disclosing findings of their investigations, to the families of the victims and the public, the commission earlier revealed that the President’s Office had instructed DDCom to refrain from sharing their findings with anyone.

The president and the Human Rights Commission of Maldives (HRCM) has since called upon the commission to make their findings public to the families before the commission is dissolved this month.

The press release by the organizations called on DDCom to ensure their finding are revealed to the families of the victims and made public before it is set to be dissolved later this month.

Highlighting that although they appreciate the decision made by the president to extend the dissolution of DDCom until 31 May 2024 at the request of the families of the victims, the truth about the fate of the victims must be provided to over 20 families who have awaited justice through the commission.

The statement also urged HRCM to intervene in this “grave” matter and ensure the families are provided with the findings of DDCom’s investigations.

The organizations expressed strong belief that DDCom should disclose their findings to families of the murdered and disappeared, in accordance with Section 13(a) of the Presidential Commissions Act.

The organizations also do not belief there is a legitimate prohibition on the DDCom to disclose it.

In response to this statement, DDCom revealed that they are aware that the families of the victims are keen to access the official reports they have completed in connection with the cases.

However, noting that a significant amount of the material held in the reports are highly sensitive and confidential, the commission revealed that they intend to complete redacted reports by 31 May 2024.

Noting that they are working to complete redacted reports so that the families can access important information about the cases, DDCom stated that they will recommend the publication of these reports, to the president.

Further, DDCom expressed commitment to hand-over all its records of permanent value to the President’s Office.

Guidelines and procedures of the President’s Office will accompany all material regarding how to ensure its security, confidentiality, but also accessibility for future use.

DDCom also recognized that it was set up because former president Ibrahim Mohamed Solih considered that specific murders and disappearances were not adequately investigated and justice was not delivered due to failures of established institutions.

With this, DDCom expressed commitment to be fully transparent and highlighted the exceptional and extensive lengths the commission, and partner agencies including international ones, have gone to deliver on their mandate to conduct independent, impartial and credible investigations.

Further, DDCom revealed that they have focused on justice and accountability with a victim-centered approach throughout, and that they were aspired to boost the trust and confidence the public has around not only the work of the commission but also the permanent institutions that have supported it.

DDCom asserted that they have gone to significant lengths to meet with the families of the victims and communicating developments on a regular basis.

Further, they also ensure their members were available whenever they were reached out to.

The commission also recognized the significance of maintaining a close and positive relationship with the families as the Commission’s priority has always been seeking justice for their lost loved ones.

Rilwan was last seen purchasing a ticket to the Hulhumalé ferry from capital city Malé, on 8 August 2014. Two years later in 2016, the police had confirmed that Rilwan was abducted and that one of the men caught trailing Rilwan on CCTV footage had been identified as Mohamed Suaid, who was arrested but released by the Criminal Court in November 2014. He has since been pronounced dead in battle after having left for Syria shortly being released from remand.

DDCom confirmed that Rilwan was killed by an extremist group in 2019.

The commission has also linked Rilwan’s murder to two other high-profile murders in the Maldives; the 2012 murder of Ungoofaaru MP Dr. Afrasheem Ali and the 2017 murder of blogger and social media activist Yameen.

Yameen Rasheed was stabbed to death in the early hours on 23 April 2017 in an attack that shook the nation. His body was found on the staircase of his residence, with over 30 stab wounds. While his attackers were caught on CCTV footage, police had said that they had been "in disguise".

Since then, the families of the victims have been advocating for transparency of DDCom and for swift justice in all cases assigned to them.

DDCom was established after former president Solih assumed office, during November 2018.

Last updated at: 3 weeks ago
Reviewed by: Maryam Dhaanish Nasheed