Friends of Rilwan hold event to mark missing journalist’s 29th birthday

Friends and family of missing Minivan News journalist Ahmed Rilwan gathered outside Hulhumalé ferry terminal yesterday to mark his birthday.

Members of the public and supporters of the campaign to find Rilwan wrote messages of support which were attached to a mural created earlier in the five month campaign.

Messages posted on the mural included: ‘We haven’t given up on you yet’, ‘You are missed’, ‘Hoping for your safe return’, ‘Please come back, we need you’, and ‘You are late for work!!!’.

Hulhumalé terminal was the place in which Rilwan was last sighted on CCTV on August 8, shortly before eyewitnesses reported a man fitting his description being pushed into a vehicle outside of his apartment in Hulhumalé.

Rilwan’s mother Aminath Easa, told Minivan News this week that she would would never give up the search for her son, who turned 29-years-old yesterday.

“God willing, I will do everything in my power to find him, with patience, until I die. I will not stop, no matter what anyone says.”

The Maldives Police Service is continuing the search for missing Rilwan as a top priority, without “interruption or boredom”, Commissioner of Police Hussein Waheed told the press earlier this month.

“I assure Rilwan’s family in this opportunity that the police will continue the search without any interruption or boredom. I wish for Rilwan’s safe return,” he said.

“From our investigations so far, there is no evidence to suggest Rilwan is dead. Therefore, our hope is he is still safe and alive,”

Rilwan’s family has asked the Police Integrity Commission to look into potential negligence in the apparently stalled investigation into his disappearance.

Home Minister Umar Naseer has previously acknowledged involvement of gangs in the case, although police have refused to reveal any information to the family regarding potential theories or avenues of inquiry.

“I am not at all happy with the government’s response,” said Aminath. “I know the police are capable, they have solved cases they work on. They caught the two dangerous convicts who escaped from jail, without firing a single shot.”

“They work when their leaders tell them to. But the government hasn’t told them to find my son. The police will look for him and find him if their superiors order them to do so. I believe government officials are complicit in this case.”

For more pictures of yesterday’s event click here

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