Family of slain social media activist and blogger, Yameen Rasheed, have expressed concern after the Civil Court rejected their case against Maldives Police Service.
In a statement on Sunday, the family said they were saddened by the court’s decision. They filed the case accusing police of negligence for failing to investigate death threats reported by Rasheed.
The family said Rasheed was brutally murdered in April this year after police ignored the death threats he had been reporting since 2010, and if police had investigated the threats and gave him protection, he would not have been murdered.
The case was filed on May 3 and was accepted by the court on May 23. After holding three hearings of the case, on Sunday the court ruled that it will not be able to review the case. According to the judge who presided over the case, if the court decided to review the case, the purpose of the National Integrity Commission Act will be lost. However, the family said, it was not an issue raised by the state during the hearings, and that the judge closed the case without giving them the opportunity to respond to it.
They also highlighted that, as per the National Integrity Commission Act, NIC can only investigate cases against individual police officers, but they believe that the entire police institution should also be held responsible for the actions of individual officers.
Rasheed’s family said the court’s rejection of the case was a blow to their efforts to seek justice, but they will not end the efforts.
Meanwhile, the state is prosecuting seven individuals in connection with Rasheed’s murder, and the hearings of the case are being held behind closed doors.
Police had earlier revealed that although seven individuals were arrested, only three of them were physically involved in carrying out the murder. Police had revealed their identities too: 25-year-old Ismail Rasheed of M. Thoif, 21-year-old Ismail Haisham Rasheed of H. Annaarumaage and 22-year-old Ahmed Zihaan Ismail of M. Iraasmikge
Rasheed, a 29-year-old from Addu City’s Feydhoo, who poked fun at the nation's politicians on his blog The Daily Panic, was found in the stairwell of his apartment building with multiple stab wounds to his neck and chest on April 23, and died shortly after being taken to hospital.