Impossible to believe state's suspects are only ones behind Yameen's murder, says father

  • Yameen was stabbed to death in the early hours on 23rd April 2017
  • Trial against six out of the eight suspects arrested are being held behind closed doors
  • Hussaind Rasheed said that 'there are many reasons' why the family does not want the trial to be secret, including their right to Qisas

K. Male' | Aishath Shaany | 30-April-2018 | Monday 07:28 | Shaaknee | Local | 818

Yameen Rasheed's father, Hussain Rasheed speaks to the media after meeting with the prosecutor general on Sunday -- Photo by: Mohamed Sharuhaan

Blogger Yameen Rasheed’s father has said that he believes that there are others behind his son’s brutal murder.

Hussain Rasheed made this statement while speaking on RaajjeTV’s Fala Surukhee programme on Sunday night, just hours after the Prosecutor General Aishath Bisham told him and his estranged wife that she will do her utmost to ensure that they are allowed to attend the hearings in their son’s murder case.

At a press conference held in August 2017, Maldives Police Service (MPS) said that religious extremists were behind the murder, claiming that the motive of the murder was ‘the culprits deemed Yameen to be sacrilegious’. Yameen’s body was found on the stairwell of his home in the early hours on 23rd April 2017, stabbed over 30 times. His attackers had followed him home from work.

Yameen’s father said that he does not believe the police’s conclusion that there is no one else behind the murder, adding that ‘this could not have been committed by someone without hostility towards Yameen’.

Noting that the police had said that Yameen’s killers had no formal Islamic education and were not pushed or encouraged to kill him, Rasheed said this further ‘creates doubt’ in his mind.

“I find it impossible to believe that a group of eight to nine people would commit such a huge crime without a reason,” he added.

A total of eight suspects were arrested over the murder, and while pre-trials are currently being held at the Criminal Court, authorities have decided to hold them behind closed doors. While they have been given hope that they will be allowed to enter hearings soon, Rasheed said ‘there are a number of reasons’ that the family does not want the trial to be closed off the public and media.

He said that this includes, ensuring that an innocent person is not wrongfully convicted, and the family’s right to Qisas. While Qisas means ‘retaliation in kind or eye for and eye’ in Arabic, Rasheed emphasized that the family has a say in the matter, adding that they have to be able to attend the hearings to be able to do so.

“Hence, we want to be certain that the suspects arrested are the right people and that they are actually involved in this, we do not want to have the slightest doubt,” said Rasheed.

The trial of six out of the eight arrested commenced in September 2017- Ismail Haisham Rasheed, Ahmed Zihan Ismail, Ismail Rasheed, Mohamed Dhifran, Hassan Shifaz, and Hussain Ziyad are charged with felony murder. While the offence carries the death penalty, the hearings are currently going on at the Criminal Court. While a seventh suspect, Mohamed Yashau Yameen has been charged with aiding and abetting murder, charges are yet to be raised against the eighth, Ahmed Nasooh Mohamed.

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