Police have arrested four suspects in their investigation into the murder of Progressive Party of the Maldives (PPM) MP Dr Afrasheem Ali.
The member for Ungoofaaru constituency in Raa Atoll was murdered on Monday night shortly after returning home from appearing on the TVM show, “Islamee Dhiriulhun” (Islamic Life).
The show finished around 11:00pm. Afrasheem’s body was discovered by his wife at the bottom of the stairs of their apartment building shortly after midnight.
The MP had been hit four times in the back of the head and a chunk of his skull was missing. He also suffered stab wounds to the chest and neck, according to reports at the time. He was buried on Tuesday after Asr prayers with full state honours.
Assistant Commissioner of Police Hassan Habeeb in a press briefing today revealed that three men and one woman had been arrested, but declined to identify them as it could “hinder the ongoing investigation.”
Habeeb urged the public to provide any information relating to the murder case. He said police were particularly interested in speaking to anybody who had seen Dr Afrasheem or his car between 10pm to 11pm the night he was murdered.
He also declined to confirm reports appearing within local media that the arrested female was a member of the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP).
MDP activist Mariyam Naifa was arrested in Male’s Dolphin Cafe on Tuesday night, and will appear in court at 7:00pm on Wednesday. Naifa’s lawyer said she was arrested in connection to intelligence received by police in the Afrasheem case. Supporters began a campaign for her release on social media.
“We are not arresting people based on their political affiliations,” Habeeb insisted during today’s press conference.
Meanwhile, police on Wednesday conducted a search of the MDP’s protest camp at Usfasgandu. Police did not confirm if the search of the site with metal detectors was related to the death of Afrasheem. However MDP MP Eva Abdulla, who was at the site when police arrived, claimed an officer had informed her that the area was being searched in connection with the Afrasheem case.
Police on May 29 raided the site on the pretext that it was being used for the practice of black magic, discovering what they claimed was black magic paraphernalia and a packet of condoms.
Police meanwhile today disputed allegations in local media that they had made a decision to withdraw MP Afrasheem’s security shortly before his death.
Deputy Police Commissioner Hussain Waheed told reporters that Afrasheem had contacted him on September 5 requesting security be provided.
According to local newspaper Haveeru, Deputy Commissioner Waheed said Afrasheem had called for police protection twice as of September 22, but had then informed him “that I’m quite cool and relaxed now.”
Waheed said Afrasheem had not elaborated as to why he had requested protection in the first place, claiming only that he was experiencing “trouble” from certain people.
Condemning the attack
The Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) has condemned Dr Afrasheem’s murder, “the first MP to have been killed [amid] constant political tensions in the Maldives [that] have led to many serious outbreaks of violence.”
“The death is the latest and most tragic act of violence in a country that has been in a political crisis since the start of the year,” the IPU stated.
“The organisation is seriously concerned of reports that other MPs are receiving death threats, including through social media channels such as Twitter. A number of Maldivian MPs are registered with the IPU Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians because of the violence, intimidation and political harassment they are suffering. The IPU will be monitoring them and following up on developments in Maldives very closely to help ensure their safety,” the international group stated.
Former President Mohamed Nasheed, currently campaigning in the southern atolls of the country, condemned Afrasheem’s murder and called for people to embrace the moderate Islamic views of the murdered religious scholar.
Local media reported that the MDP held a minute’s silence during its rally on Kolamaafushi in Gaa Alif Atoll.
UN Resident Coordinator Andrew Cox issued a statement calling for “mourning, reflection, and national unity.”
“Dr. Afrasheem distinguished himself in many ways, as a public servant, an accomplished scholar and as a member of parliament. Our thoughts are with his family, friends and colleagues in the People’s Majlis,” the statement read.
Amnesty International condemned the “shocking act of violence”.
“We call on the Maldives authorities to ensure that the investigation into the killing meets international human rights standards, and that no suspect is ill-treated or tortured,” said Abbas Faiz, Amnesty International’s Researcher on the Maldives.
“Given the current tense climate in the Maldives, all political actors must show restraint and ensure that this killing does not lead to more violence,” Faiz stated.
12 thoughts on “Police arrest four in connection with murder of MP Afrasheem”
most probably mdp is involved in this case. maybe because DR.Afrasheem and the remaining scholars of the maldives had joined hands and was preparing to campaign together for religious awareness.
Nasheed has blood on his hands. Afrasheems blood.
the four people arrested in connection to the murder are all MDP loyalists
The Maldivian police services no longer serve the public of Maldives. They are making this tragic murder into a political game to settle scores with MDP. How can the people ever feel safe in this country while murderers roam free cause the police doesn't give a damn.
As i thought earlier that this could be politically motivated and then to get attention diverted.
This is usual tricks that few politician plays many times but this time it is far too deep.
Lets see who is really behind this barbarian act
I don't know what is on in this case.
I do remember Kaashidoo : within half an hour after the murder ... already then live on DhiTV calling MDP responsbile.
Within one day : the killer is PPM member, AND a campaigner in last elections for Jabir too ...
In my opinion : since the coup d'etat, and because of it, there is a sense of lawless society, with a corrupt judiciary ... where the rules are made by power and money, not by moral standards. A growing extremism too, which has never been disapproved by this government. In contrary, the extremists are part of the government, able to claim impunity for everything in the name of religion.
Geez, Nasheed isn't some gangster and besides he has no reason to go after Afrasheem anyways. The police, which were involved in the coup that deposed of him, are hardly the most reliable source for truth and justice in this country. The extremists however, have wanted Afrasheem gone for quite sometime and have been harassing him since their inception. It hardly seems coincidental that in his last tv-appearance he was saying that it was not right to call people infidels if they didn't obey salafi codes of appearances. To say the MDP, who have endorsed moderate views, is involved just doesn't make any sense. I wouldn't be surprised if this whole thing is a set-up to so they can implement the death penalty in order to really start silencing people.
Sadly, this is just the first of many martyrs the Maldives must suffer before democracy is restored. I worry what they (the Gayoom regime) will do to Anni.
This is a good set up by the Gang Leader Yameen to put Anni behind bars. Most probably an act of the police I suspect. Who knows? There are many cases like this when police couldnt admit it after killing people in jail. I call the Interpol to investigate this matter as our police are corrupt and paid by Maumoon and Yameen.
I don’t know about you guys, but I felt a chill watching Dr Afrasheems last TV appearance. It is so clear in his speaking that he was speaking to us to move away from the narrow dictates of the Wahhabi movement.
Prescriptive, racist, sexist, misogynist, and with ambitions for global domination setting up the Wahhabi Caliphate across the world, the Wahhabi movement has chilling parallels with the Nazi / fascist movements of the world and has unfortunately for our nation taken a very strong grip in our nation.
If you want to point fingers, point it at Dr Waheed. No one can deny the spreading influence of the Wahhabi Movement in the Maldives. And yet Dr Waheed goes on the global stage and declares that Wahhabi extremism does not exist in the Maldives
Dr Waheed is the man who overnight has taken on the jargon of the extremists and cannot it appears say two words these days without saying Insha’Allah (sic).
The Hajj trip last year, the fist in the air with “We are Mujahedeen”... “This is jihaadh. “.......... “The security of the Maldives and the protection of Islam cannot be separate... it’s one and the same thing..........” , “I call on the Maldives Defence Force to protect our nation from the forces that seek to undermine Islam in the Maldives...” etc etc Not one speech without punctuations of Islamic. rhetoric.
Having failed to get the voting base of the MDP for his Presidency bid, it appears that Waheed has turned to the voting base of the Wahhabi movement.
Maldives police is so professional they detain suspects (prime or whatever) for 15 more days just because they can. what are they going to do by detailing them for 15 days? make the detainees $h!t evidence?
The question is who stands to gain by this?
It ends up with Saudis and their craving need for endless money streams.
They fund the demented, to promote fundamentalism. They preach moderate ness is unacceptable.
Saudis wants all use of brains to be switched off, blindly making Hajj, endlessly, so they can have the revenue streams unabated. Hence they can't have moderate ness, and intelligent questions asked about religion.
So sad, the stupidity of our nation, and weakness of the government, by acknowledging the growing cancer within the society.
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