Comment: And the killer is…

This article first appeared on DhivehiSitee. Republished with permission.

The government knows who killed MP Afrasheem Ali.

The Minister of Home Affairs Mohamed Jameel Ahmed has appeared in the media twice in the last week to repeat the claim. Both times he stopped short of sharing the knowledge with the public.

The first time was on 24 November, when Haveeru reported Jameel as saying “MP Afrasheem’s murderer has been found”. The only thing he shared with reporters, however, was his incredulity that the murder had been premeditated in great detail. He observed gravely:

This is a matter of serious concern.

In another Haveeru piece, on the same subject the same day, Jameel also implied that the murder involved  politicians with money and violent gangs of disaffected youth, all with the potential to be hired hit men. Again, he chose not to reveal who was involved in the suggested assassination.

Although Jameel said the killer has been found but, according to Police Commissioner Abdulla Riyaz, the investigation is ongoing. He was on-message with Jameel, though, when it came to government policy for sharing information with the public:

…details will be revealed as soon as it is time to reveal them.

From the very beginning, the murder of MP Afrasheem has been more than about the murder of MP Afrasheem. Within hours, he was being eulogised as ‘one of the greatest scholars we have ever seen’. His funeral was a State sponsored spectacle, aired live on ‘TVM’. Afrasheem’s family was invited to the Majlis so he could be honoured and his beneficiaries financially compensated.

When investigations began, the FBI was reported to be helping. Until now, however, the only visible sign of FBI’s involvement has been a typical ‘information leading to the arrest’ reward worth MVR50,000.

This is not to say the FBI has not been of any use to the government. President Waheed is holding up FBI involvement as the reason people should believe in the impartiality of the investigation.

“When agencies like these are involved, you can be sure it’s all very professional,” he said recently. Good for Waheed that not many Maldivian government supporters have heard of General Petraeus, or of the FBI  and the Patriot Act.

With or without FBI help, the police took into custody six people in connection with the murder. Several were MDP activists. None of them have been charged, but their detention period continues to be extended every 15 days. Only one person arrested after the murder, Mariyam Naifa, was released. The police never gave a reason for her arrest, and imposed extra-legal conditions on several personal liberties before freeing her.

Then followed a period of almost complete silence about the murder. It was ‘broken’ in late October, with this  news briefing which revealed:

…200 items are being investigated in the forensic lab and more than 300 hours of CCTV footage have been collected as evidence.

Apart from this, the only things police could confirm with certainty were that Afrasheem had been murdered, and that the body was really Afrasheem’s.

The police also used the news conference to announce a change of approach to their investigations. Whereas previous cases had emphasised speed—as in lawyer Najeeb’s case—now the emphasis would be on caution. This was an emphatic sign that police were going to take their own sweet time telling the public what happened.

Then, on 11 November, former President Mohamed Nasheed very publicly criticised the investigation. MDP followed Nasheed’s speech with a request for a parliamentary review of the investigation. It was as if a sleeping dog had been kicked in the balls. Jameel quickly deviated from the official line of ‘this can take forever’ to declare ‘the killer has been found.’

This also when his press conferences began to sound like a promotional gig for a Hitchcock movie. He has since appeared several times to tell the public he knew, but was not telling, who killed Afrasheem.

This morning, Haveeru  ran a new update of the non-story. Jameel is very ‘disconcerted’ by former President Nasheed’s remarks that he thinks police are biding their time in order to pin the murder on an MDP member. Nasheed also said he suspects that ‘the right time’ will be as close to the by-election on 1 December to elect Afrasheem’s replacement as possible.

Jameel dismisses Nasheed’s accusations as dangerous impediments to justice. Here is in the words of Haveeru, what Jameel said next:

Jameel further added that the people of Ungoofaaru must secure Afrasheem’s seat in Parliament to a member of his party and described it as a duty of the Ungoofaaru constituency people.

Did he really say that it was ‘the duty’ of the people of Afrasheem’s constituency, his home island, to make sure PPM retained its seat? Straight after dismissing Nasheed’s allegations that he is attempting to influence the election?

As always, Haveeru lent support to the government line with an opinion piece asking people to see MDP’s accusation of bias in the investigation in the same light as their accusations of bias against CoNI. That is to say ‘baseless’.

This is part of the government’s plan all along to pre-empt any criticism of the results when they are finally rolled out. Waheed had begun preparing for just such an eventuality by referring to the FBI presence as ‘proof of integrity’. Any criticism of the investigation from now on could and would be labelled as ‘the unreasonableness of MDP.’

Whatever about the motive of Afrasheem’s killer, it has been clear from the beginning that it is politics dictating the official response to his killing.

All comment pieces are the sole view of the author and do not reflect the editorial policy of Minivan News. If you would like to write an opinion piece, please send proposals to [email protected]


13 thoughts on “Comment: And the killer is…”

  1. As I have said before, these pieces by Azra were meant to be rantings to be shared on a personal blog.

    Publishing them as comment pieces worthy of publication on a news website is of course Minivan's prerogative. I feel however that these sort of "views" are better left to social media networks and coffee-table discussions.

    Once again, its Minivan's choice.

  2. Dear Azra,

    Gayoom, Waheed and the gang and no saints. They are bad people. Very bad people. But for once would you care to take off your grossly MDP-biased lenses and try to see the world differently. Anni, MDP & co isnt any better than Gayooom and co.

  3. And so my doppelganger continues to pre-emptively declare my thoughts on the matters raised by Minivan thought-pieces on my behalf. Once again s/he has misjudged me.

    While I will of course maintain that Azra is an MDP propgandist I realize that this is an opinion piece published appropriately in the comments and opinions section. Any idiot with half a brain knows there's scope to be "bloggy" on them.

    Paul Krugman and Maureen Dowd often make similar contributions to The New York Times. The difference is that those two are credible journalists who make it their prerogative to criticize leaders within their own party when the occasion calls for it.

    Azra has no such integrity and certainly displays no capacity at impartiality. I would be most surprised if the likes of Krugman or Dowd ever defended President Obama's perspective on things with the same fanatical zeal that Azra defends Nasheed's.

    Ironically some might say that Azra epitomizes the same ideological extremism she often and hysterically accuses MDP opponents of displaying.

    Oh, and very convincing effort on this occasion I must admit. Kudos to young Yaamyn or Azra or whoever you are but you must stop now. It's getting quite tiresome.

  4. Whoever killed afrasheem, the important thing is that tsk tsk has a crush on Azra.

  5. The only people who could have killed Afraseem are Wahhabees, whether they belong to MDP, or any other political parties. There lot of extremist in MDP as well who are aligned with MDP and MDP is no different in harboring extremist in order to show the public that they are not anti Islam.

    The danger is these Islamic extremist and no doubt the killing was planned by Islamic extremist motivation. All political parties except Adaalth should not register any of these Wahhabies in their party , and should isolate the Fundamentalist from mainstream politics.

  6. The murder of Dr Afrasheem was likely funded by a major foreign company in the Maldives and carried out by a certain major political party.

    Guess who?

  7. Its Paris Hilton and DRP!! was that a good guess?? you talk like you are a grandmaster. what are you? Derek O Brien??

  8. This shows how mean and wicked these coup leaders are. One moment they said that, Dr Afrasheem's murder case was a high profile case, and the next moment they said that they want to disclose the alleged perpetrators at an appropriate time. Of course, at an appropriate "hindhukolhu", that they hope would yield them with some political capital.

    The current, incompetent lead (thimara) Commissioner of Police, who is alleged to be corrupt to the core, running several businesses, will do whatever at his disposal to flout the law and gets his way. This buggar with the coup Defence minister Seeney, is making business plans to establish a courier service that presumably, would send DHL and Fedex to the dogs. The head office of the courier service is set up in 4th floor of Petrel House in Machchangolhi ward. And the customers are entertained with juicy hedhikas from the Petey's tea boutique.

    I avail myself of this opportunity to renew to the Maldives Police Services Incorporated, the assurance of my highest consideration.

  9. @good talk! on Thu, 29th Nov 2012 10:48 AM why should someone like you from GMR's PR Department want to comment about this huh? very puzzling indeed!

  10. And the killer is...hard to say! But not hard to say also!
    Time only can tell!!!!

    Dr. Azra, biased is only when the balance is not tilted towards their ends.

    Many killings and murders, similar to Dr. Martin Luther King, JFK, Princess Diana, and happenings like the fall of the Twin Towers are many more are told and untold stories!

    It is rather difficult to think that anyone, be it the FBI or anyone, without seeing the victim could or would come to anything conclusive.

    Our police (who we all know are too brutal to be imagined), can, and will come out with some story just as they have came out after the coup (but not a coup) on 7th February, this year.

    All I can say is that the speed at which the victim being buried without any investigation or postmortem was questionably quick!

    Too hard to guess! Speculations cannot be justice!

    But I am certain that Late Dr. Afrasheem will get justice; some day!

  11. In a state where organized crime is organized and executed by uniformed gangsters,

    How can anyone expects justice????

    Home min. and CP, and Defence min. are stained with Dr Afrasheem's Blood all over them till day of Judgment ,!!

  12. @Patriot on Thu, 29th Nov 2012 2:02 PM

    Not much of a "Patriot" are you?

    What makes you say the "our police will come out with some story"? Whats YOUR reason to try and cast doubt on the findings of the investigation EVEN BEFORE anything has been revealed by the Police to the Public?

    This murder investigation has been conducted with the assistance of FBI and other international law enforcement agencies using a wide array modern forensic evidence gathering.

    When the findings are made public and evidence presented in Court, those who physically carried out the murder as well as those who financed the contract killing will be convicted Insha Allah.

    The guilt of the perpetrators will be proven beyond any reasonable doubt and will comply with international standards.

  13. I am now more intrigued about Azra and tsk tsk.... anything on Jameel just bores me, he so boring... Hassan Saeed at least is looking for unrequited love which is slightly amusing...Jameel needs to reinvent himself, some tips from Diyana will help


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