Reporters Without Borders condemns stabbing of Hilath Rasheed: “All the hallmarks of a targeted murder attempt”

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has condemned the stabbing of well-known Maldivian journalist and blogger Ismail ‘Hilath’ Rasheed.

Rasheed had his throat slashed outside his house in Male’ around 8:15pm on Monday night, and was rushed to ADK Hospital for emergency surgery. Sources at the hospital said that the attack severed his trachea (windpipe), missing a vital artery “by millimetres”, and initially gave him a five percent chance of survival.

Hospital staff stabilised Rasheed’s condition around 2:30am on Tuesday, and as of Wednesday evening his condition was said to be improving. An informed source told Minivan News that Rasheed was unable to speak due to his injuries, but had communicated with his parents in writing.

“This knife attack has all the hallmarks of a targeted murder attempt,” Reporters Without Borders said in a statement.

“Rasheed has made many enemies through his outspoken blogging. The authorities in charge of the investigation should not rule out the possibility that this was linked to his journalistic activity. He is a well-known journalist who has repeatedly been censored, arrested and threatened.

“The police must, as a matter of urgency, put a stop to the harassment of Rasheed and take the issue of his safety seriously. Any lack of response on their part will constitute a criminal failure to assist a person in danger,” RSF stated.

The organisation noted that Rasheed had previously been attacked on December 10, 2011, suffering a fractured skull “while attending a peaceful demonstration in support of religious tolerance.”

“The police then arrested him for taking part in the demonstration and held him until 9 January,” RSF added, noting that Rasheed’s blog,, had also been blocked on the orders of Ministry of Islamic Affairs on 19 November 2011 on the grounds that it contained “anti-Islamic” material.

“If it is confirmed that the attack was prompted by his journalism and blogging, Rasheed would be the first journalist to have been the target of a murder attempt in Maldives,” RSF observed.

The Maldives Journalist Association (MJA) has also condemned the attack on Rasheed.

“The violent attack on Hilath was an attempt to kill him. The association calls on the authorities to find those who had involved in this crime and bring them to justice,” the MJA stated.
“We call on the police and political figures of this country to stop quarrelling for power and make the country – especially the capital Male’ – a place where families and children can live without fear.”

The MJA added that if the trend of violent murders across the country continued, the resulting impact on the country’s tourism-based economy would be “irrevocable”.

Minister for Human Resources and spokesperson for former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, Mohamed ‘Mundhu’ Shareef, told AFP that while the government condemned the attack, “Hilath must have known that he had become a target of a few extremists.”

“We are not a secular country. When you talk about religion there will always be a few people who do not agree,” Shareef said.

Police Sub-Inspector Hassan Haneef meanwhile said that while no arrests had been made, police had obtained CCTV footage of the area and were in the process of analysing it.

Police were also investigating the stabbing of a Bangladeshi man at 11pm on the same evening, Haneef said. The victim suffered minor injuries and was discharged from hospital on Tuesday.

The Maldives was ranked 73rd out of 179 countries in the 2011-2012 Reporters Without Borders press freedom index. The country jumped from 148th in 2005 to 51st in 2009, following the introduction of multiparty democracy and freedom of expression.


21 thoughts on “Reporters Without Borders condemns stabbing of Hilath Rasheed: “All the hallmarks of a targeted murder attempt””

  1. AND what is with Mundhu's we condemn 'BUT,' there are NO F****** BUTS or while's about it it was EVIL and that you obviously can't see that shows YOU HAVE NO RESPECT FOR THE SANCTITY OF LIFE YOURSELF!!!!!!!!!!! This hideously cowardly, cruel, inhumane attempt to explain this situation away as though this is inevitable in Maldives and SO ... IS an insanely heartless attitude! What a good person would have said would have been we condemn this and we will fight tooth and nail to eradicate this violent attitude from the Maldives! If your sentiments are Maumoon's thoughts Maumoon then once again I am deeply shocked and wounded to see the true face of the monster behind the liberal Muslim mask of Maumoon!

  2. "spokesperson for former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, Mohamed ‘Mundhu’ Shareef, told AFP that while the government condemned the attack, “Hilath must have known that he had become a target of a few extremists.”"

    "Must have known"?

    That is simply not a good enough statement - just as distasteful as 'wouldn't have happened if he'd not spoken out'.

    Of course, Hilath knew. This isn't the first time he was attacked or injured. The issue here isn't if Hilath knew he offended small-minded extremists, the issue is that the government and law enforcement (who, I must say, also "must have known" this was the case) failed to protect him repeatedly.

    When Hilath was attacked on December 10 by a mob of fundie thugs, the Police chose NOT to pursue the attackers, whose photographs were handed to the cops and published in the local media by those present at the scene.

    Instead, the state chose to arrest the victim instead and lock him up for weeks.

    This isn't just about Hilath or the extremist's opinion of him. This is about the clueless-ness of people like Mundhu Shareef and the inherent injustice of a system that repeatedly failed to protect or provide justice to a citizen who chose to be outspoken.

  3. assassination? really?
    there was an ordinary typical man murdered the same night as well, and someone close to my family was murdered "by mistake" this year as well, it may have been crazy extremists, but it just may have been a typical Maldives stabbing similar to those of late

    You guys are really REALLY biased

  4. Intelligence Without Borders condemns stabbing of Hilath Rasheed and the Deceptions of MiniVan and all others: “All the HALLMARKS of a targeted murder attempt, targeted Deceptions, And a Guy called yaamyn back in action pack ”

    That is more appropriate!

    This is going to be Answered!

    🙂 Peace!

  5. This is an attempted murder by ruling coalition backed by fundamentalist Adhaalath and Waheed.

    For months, on social media, they have stated they will kill Hilath Rasheed. Police have ignored all such reports, and the people who made such threats even boast about being above the law (since the gov is basically behind them).

    The first attempt on Hilath's life was carried out in December of 2011 by radicalized Islamists organized by Ibrahim Lutfy (Switzerland), Zahid Rameez and Ahmed Nihan.

    The same people were involved in plotting the assassination of Mohamed Nasheed and publicly tweeting about it prior to the coup. Most of these tweets were deleted just prior to the coup.

    Hilath Rasheed urgently needs political asylum in another nation as his life is no longer safe due to the current government in Maldives.

  6. Anyone who thinks it was a mistaken stabbing is living in La La land. He had got multiple death threats, been attacked before and this time they got him while he was near his home. Hilath is too known a face to be attacked by mistake specially while standing near his home. Worse is the fact that some people actually beleive his killing would be Islamic.
    Heard of the guy who gave him blood in the hospital and later called and said don't use it, as he had talked to a Sheikh once he found out it was for Hilath and the Sheikh had told him he shouldn't give it to a guy like that. Disgusting, Maldives is becoming or has become an extremely intolerant country.And they insult our beautiful religion when they carry out such attackes in the name of Islam.

  7. @leena What was the name of the Sheikh? Was is Shaheem again?

  8. The intention was clear. It was a well planned murder. As usual the perpetrators might have been made to believe a big reward awaits them in the heaven if Hilath is killed. Islam is peace and murder is last thing any religion would want their follows to commit.

  9. The blood thirsty Draculas are now sharpning their swords to spill as many peoples blood as possible because now there is no protection for ordinary citizens for Police and Army are only protecting the coup leaders and the former Dictator Maumoon the greatest of all dictators..

  10. This is the country that the coalition have designed. No tax for the rich and murder anyone who exercise freedom of speech. The country has gone to the criminals, murderers and extremists!
    Well done coup government!!!!!!

  11. Young political blogger nearly murdered and the police and government turn a blind eye. Only a few days ago Waheed boasted about freedom of speech and the media/press???

    Can you imagine if the tourism industry found out??? MATI shuld have thought about this before they financed the coup.... There will be blood.

  12. //
    The first attempt on Hilath’s life was carried out in December of 2011 by radicalized Islamists organized by Ibrahim Lutfy (Switzerland), Zahid Rameez and Ahmed Nihan.
    If that is true 'Switzerland' should be informed

  13. @Abdulla Zayyid on Thu, 7th Jun 2012 5:13 AM

    You Wrote:"Bismuth, There will be no peace with your kind."

    This explain's that you are of an "extremist" ideology. What type? You can guess, google, or ask a friend.

    Still, you have peace with yourself, with the environment you live, and most of all with your Creator!.. that would be enough to solve the problems of this "world".. reform yourself , and hopefully the "butterfly effect" will spread! & Hopefully, the killing, mocking, hatred & deceptions will come to a stand still.


    Take Care!, Peace to all, May it be! from a Lord Most Merciful!

  14. I wish Hilath speedy recovery from his terrible injuries and may God give comfort to his family at this difficult time. I am shocked at the savagery of the attack on this courageous man.
    So in Maldives today, if you speak out against religious fundamentalism and intolerance, you get your throat cut!!
    When I called Maldivians a bunch of ignorant and intolerant retards, unfit for life in the twentyfirst century.....I was correct!! You are a nation of sick people.
    It seems the only way you braindead morons can 'protect islam' is by demolishing SAARC monuments, destroying 'idols' of your pre islamic past and by physically attacking anyone.....thats 99% of humanity.....who dares to question your intolerant sunni muslim faith.
    Hilath should move to a more civilised country when he gets better.....he will never be safe in a country of 3,00,000 fanatics.....moreso with an unelected government and a useless and incompetent police force.
    Oops, I keep forgetting islam is a 'religion of peace'.....really?

  15. Indirani, get back in the kitchen, o woman. You also need to see your place. A Muslim husband would be glad to show

    This is simply a defensive attack. Should we standby as our morals, our deen, our god is being slandered while lesbian shrews like Indirani mouth off Islam? Nay!

  16. You should practice what you preach and become a bit more tolerant yourself then Indira NewDelhi. By what lunacy would you assume all Maldivians are exactly the same?

  17. @Indira NewDelhi
    Sigh... I wish that you would stop collectively referring to ALL of us as retards. Just so to be clear, there ARE some people around here who are not proud of what's going on in this god-forsaken country, yet unable to face up to those problems due to fear of ending up with the same grisly fate.
    However, if you still continue to rant your garbage at all of us, at least direct your rage AT the specific people, otherwise you would tend to consider yourself with a mindset and logic of an amoeba.

  18. I hope Hilath is much better now. Why is there no news of him in the Maldivian press?

  19. Urgent Action by Amnesty International for Hilath:


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