Three arrested in connection with Rilwan’s disappearance

The Maldives Police Services today confirmed three men have been arrested in relation to the disappearance of Minivan News journalist Ahmed Rilwan.

Today marks the 51st day since Rilwan went missing. He is believed to have been abducted at knife point from outside his apartment building in Hulhumalé at 2am on August 8.

The Maldivian Democracy Network (MDN) has welcomed “progress in police investigation”, offering its support and calling upon the public to lend any assistance required to police.

The Criminal Court today extended the detention of two 22-year-old men for five days and a 24-year-old man for seven days, reported police who declined to reveal further details.

“The Criminal Court’s extension of their detention signifies a progress in the investigation,” said MDN.

The Maldives Police Service has yet to suggest any possible theories or lines of inquiry being followed, noting on September 16 that no “concrete evidence” could be found between Rilwan and a reported abduction outside his apartment shortly after his last sighting.

MDN last week released a report implicating radicalised gangs in Rilwan’s disappearance.

The investigative report by Glasgow based Athena Security confirmed evidence of possible “hostile surveillance” at the terminal conducted by two known affiliates of Malé based Kuda Henveiru gang. One of the suspects is identified as Ahmed Shiran Saeed.

Minivan News understands Shiran is currently in police custody for unrelated charges.

Citing a series of gang attacks against perceived secularists in June, the report said that gang activity in Rilwan’s abduction was a “strong possibility”.

The report noted increased radical activity among members of three main gangs in Malé – Bosnia, Kuda Henveiru, and Buru – and claimed members had participated in attacks against individuals they deem “un-Islamic”.

Rilwan had “regularly received clear threats to his life” for his advocacy against religious extremists, the report said.

One man named in the report, vandalised Minivan News’ security cameras on Thursday and two others buried a machete in the building’s main door.

Minivan News journalists received death threats shortly afterwards warning them, “You will be killed or disappeared next. Watch out.”

The man seen tearing down the camera was arrested that same night, before being released by the Criminal Court on Friday on conditions that he cooperate with the police investigation, that he not leave Malé without informing police, and that he not cause any further disturbances.

The opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) office was set on fire in the early hours of the morning following the attack on Minivan News, and the door of former MDP MP Hamid Abdul Ghafoor’s residence was set ablaze.

The arson attack followed vandalism of the main opposition party’s office for two consecutive nights and numerous death threats sent from unlisted numbers to MDP MPs, senior members, and dozens of journalists.

“This is a war between the laadheenee [secular or irreligious] MDP mob and religious people. We advise the media not to come in the middle of this. We won’t hesitate to kill you,” read the threat to journalists.

The text message was sent to journalists from opposition-aligned private broadcaster Raajje TV, and state broadcaster Television Maldives as well as other news outlets.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the US embassy in Colombo, and international press freedom organisations have subsequently issued statements condemning the attack on the Minivan News office.


10 thoughts on “Three arrested in connection with Rilwan’s disappearance”

  1. If how gutless Mua got the VIP treatment at the police station once they realized that he was Umar Naseer's top enforcer is any indication, expect the 'arrested' to be freed very soon, citing 'lack of evidence'.

    Oh, and I have some information for ya.

    That guy who sent the message "This is a war between the laadheenee [secular or irreligious] MDP mob and religious people. We advise the media not to come in the middle of this. We won’t hesitate to kill you,"?

    Here he is.

    Don't bother paying me. I don't need money.


    The headline says it all. ISIS boys are doing a man up.. Some one needs to shut down Ali Rameez, a serial corrupter of youth, formerly a musician and now a born again cleric.

    Jumping from the liberal extreme of resort music to conservative extreme of promoting Salaf, Aly Rameez is the archetype of corruption of Dhivehi society, tradition and culture.

    If there is one guy who can announce a new religion to Maldives, it would be this guy.. stop this fake pied piper.

  3. @pied piper

    You are absolutely right. The Maldivian youth is being herded into a frying pot and slow roasted.

    I wonder when Maldivians would get a fair chance at life. If we ever would get an impartial education, compare the lives of people of various faiths, and then you make a decision, rather than held captive by isolated ignorance, spoon fed by idiots.

  4. @klyfrr then your going to die dreaming. Like literally. They'll kill you for having ladheenee dreams.

  5. @ klyfrr
    Freedom of Religion in a Sunni Muslim country? Have you taken leave of your senses? Hell will have to freeze over first before this happens. Is there Freedom of Religion in Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Yemen, Sudan, Afghanistan or any other country of the 'true believers'?
    Maybe your mullahs should stop their sermons of hate and brainwashing people into believing Allah created this earth only for Sunni Muslims.
    As a secular Hindu I feel so civilised compared to you Neanderthals.

    Minivan will not publish this comment lest someone buries a hatchet in the front door and nicks the CCTV camera.

  6. @MissIndia.
    Who are you to tell us what is right for this country. You should first clean up your own mess in India before opening your mouth.'

    Go and read your own news media , daily rapes, forced child sex, forced child labour , under paid workers, no clean water , basic health and education , no toilet facilities, no electric power for 60% of your population.

    Stop all these and then try to improve things in Maldives.

    I remind you that GMR will never be given a chance to operate our airport and you can do what ever you want and that is not going to change.

  7. The bull appears to be caught by the horn and tail as well!
    There could be a lot of struggle up until the hooves are tied!
    But it is nice to know something is happening!

    Each and every organization will have its ideology and attain goals; be it religion, sports, literature or whatever!
    There is no problem with it!

    But, it will be hard when an organization or its members want to achieve their goal by blaming others, and wanting reform the way they deem fit; certainly not by using force or raising hell!

    This is crazy and idiocy!

  8. @ Hero
    You keep repeating the same old garbage like a CD player with the 'repeat' function switched on. If India was so underdeveloped why do you dumb people constantly hassle our consular staff for study and medical visas? Why don't you go instead to another '100% muslim' country?
    It may come as a surprise to you that there are millions of Indians, like me, that consider Maldivians to be backward, unsophisticated and poor.
    By 2019 we hope to provide toilet facilities for all our citizens. We then hope to outsource the cleaning of these toilets. Would Maldivians like to apply for these contracts?

  9. @ miss india
    Are you a consular staff working in indian high commission?

    A diplomat with so much hatred to Maldives accredited to this country is a case for concern.


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