K. Male' | Aishath Shaany | 23-April-2017 | Sunday 22:51 | Shaaknee | Local | 1,018
Amnesty International has said that the barbaric murder of prominent blogger Yameen Rasheed “shows contempt for human life”, calling on the government of Maldives “to investigate the police’s failure to protect Yameen Rasheed’s life”.
Yameen was stabbed to death on Saturday night, and was found on the staircase of his apartment building at around 3 am. He had, on numerous occasions, received death threats, which he had filed at the Maldives Police Service (MPS). Police are yet to reveal details of any of the investigations.
In a statement issued on Sunday, Amnesty said that authorities “cannot let this crime go unpunished”, calling to “immediately investigate the killing and hold those responsible to account”.
It further said that the “shocking killing of Yameen Rasheed not only shows contempt for human life, but it is also a direct attack on the human right to freedom of expression”.
Amnesty International’s Maldives Researcher Olof Blomqvist said that “authorities in Maldives cannot let this crime go unpunished, they must immediately investigate the killing and hold those responsible to account”.
“This attack must also be a wake-up call to authorities to take threats against activists seriously. The government should investigate the police’s failure to protect Yameen Rasheed’s life, and urgently implement lessons to ensure that such attacks are not repeated”, said Amnesty, highlighting that it is the police’s responsibility to “ensure all threats are investigated and that those who need it receive protection”.
Amnesty further noted that Yameen’s murder “has taken place against a backdrop of growing restriction on public debate in Maldives, with authorities harassing peaceful journalists, activists and media outlets”.
“This crackdown has intensified in recent weeks and must end immediately”, it said, calling on authorities “to protect those who speak out, not try to criminalize them”.
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