Prominent blogger stabbed to death in Maldives capital

Sunday, 23 April 2017

A liberal blogger was stabbed to death in the Maldives’ capital on Sunday, his family and colleagues said, the latest media personality to be targeted in the troubled tropical nation.

Yameen Rasheed, 29, was found in the stairwell of his apartment in Malé with multiple stab wounds to his neck and chest. He died after being taken to a 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 Rasheed had recently complained to police about death threats received through his social media accounts.

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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.

A journalist with the independent Minivan News, Ahmed Rilwan, was likely abducted in August 2014 and has been missing ever since.

Colleagues said Yameen Rasheed was Rilwan’s friend and had been publicly campaigning for an investigation into the disappearance.

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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.

The 29-year-old had reported receiving multiple death threats to the police, according to local press. He posted screen shots of the threats he received via text messages and on the internet on Twitter and Facebook.

The government condemned the “brutal and inhumanely attack on a youth”.

“Actions of the government to avoid opportunity for unrest in the nation by keeping the youth from criminal acts and to build a peaceful society will continue,” said Ibrahim Muaz Ali, spokesman for President Abdulla Yameen.