Maldivian journalist and blogger found unconscious on Raa atoll

Well-known Maldivian writer and blogger, Ismail Khilath ‘Hilath’ Rasheed, 34, has been found unconscious from a suspected drug overdose on an uninhabited island in Raa atoll, according to a Haveeru report in Dhivehi.

Hilath was found unconscious at a beach in Furaveri, a garden island where he had been staying since last Saturday. The caretaker of the island found him at the beach around 4:00pm last Wednesday, said the Haveeru report.

Haveeru noted that Hilath was being treated at Ugoofaru hospital, and his condition was improving.

Today Police Sub-Inspector Ahmed Shiyam said Hilath had been released from hospital and is now being held in police custody while police investigate the drug related-incident.

“We tried to keep him under house arrest but his family refused and asked that he be placed in police custody,” Shiyam said, adding that the court had ruled that Hilath could be held for seven days.

Hilath, a journalist of 10 years experience, is one of the most outspoken and controversial figures in the Maldivian ‘bloggosphere’ and is well known for being highly critical of Islamic fundamentalism in the Maldives.

In March he was the subject of death threats published on Muraasil.com, a popular publishing platform that allows anyone to publish content in Dhivehi.

The threats were quickly removed from Muraasil following complaints, but not before receiving widespread attention.

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48 thoughts on “Maldivian journalist and blogger found unconscious on Raa atoll”

  1. This is the freedom these bloggers are fighting for...thats why they hate Islam so much..

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  2. I suggest that he be checked for mental and psychological disturbances. Now we know why he has been acting so weird. 🙂

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  3. http://www.hilath.com/?p=6612
    http://www.hilath.com/?p=6610

    Maybe it was not an accidental drug overdose..

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  4. Wow... this looks really bad. Even suspiciously bad. Isn't there anyway that a statement could be obtained from Hilath as to what really happened? And maybe an apology if need be?

    As one of the most public figures speaking out against extremism in the Maldives, if this is in fact true it looks very bad for the liberal and moderate community. Association with him, like with Nazim ("the apostate"), is something that will be harder for people to accept and even tolerate.

    My question is simple. Why was he alone? What was he doing there? And what happens now?

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  5. Very sad day for our freedom fighters. From Hilath's last posting it appears more like an attempt of suicide. I think Hilath wanted full freedom from this world. I hope people like Jeffrey Salim and Aniya do not go overboard and follow his example.

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  6. The guy should have been killed or died long ago. He is too much for our society. He only attacks Islam using his whims and desires rather than using what Islam preaches.

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  7. Islam haters = drug users/gays/lesbians/pedophiles

    i expect more such news in the future about people who are against Islam.

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  8. If he used drugs, then he would probably call for the right to use them, then somehow associate the prohibition of drugs with Islam.

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  9. @Athika M
    Are you saying certain prominent politicians from last government and convicted pedophiles are Islam haters? I do not think that they ever said or wrote anything to that effect, so how can you say that?

    There are drug users, gays, lesbians and pedophiles in ALL communities, Islamic, Christian, Jewish Athiest and Hindu. I'm not condoning anything, just saying they exist whatever denomination they believe in.

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  10. Pulling out my hair,
    Tearing off my clothes,

    Tying everything I own
    To a stick,
    And setting it on
    Fire.

    What else can Hilath do tonight
    To celebrate the madness,
    The joy,

    Of seeing God
    Everywhere!

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  11. Islam hater? How does one become an Islam hater? Criticizing Majeed Baree is not equal to Islam hating. Ridiculing Sheikh Shaheem for his hilarious public statements is not equal to mocking Islam. Calling for action on militant Islam is not equal to Islamophobia. I dont support everything Hilath does. But I think this country is in need of lots of Hilaths if we are to be a progressive tolerant society.

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  12. Hilath is the best Maldivian writer the country has ever had. His honesty and willingness to tackle suppressed social issues, and his command of language, have made him a blogging legend. Criticising hypocrisy and ignorance isn't anti-Islamic; it's the essence of human decency and respect for others.
    Hilath and his family need a lot of support right now, and Maldives needs articulate people of integrity and sensitivity like Hilath.

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  13. He has advocated for the so-called gay rights. Read the article published in his blog on April 3rd:“One last irritation I need to “file away” while I’m in Maldives…”

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  14. Islamic extremism is worse than using drugs. Mullahs are destroying the society by venom of their pious language, enslaves woman, encourage pedophile, preaches unhygienic life style, dehumanize people and lead people to unproductive living. If an individual fights against these Mullahs and uses drug does not make Mullah anything better.

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  15. i think this will be some work of the Maldivian extremists. this should be investigated beyond an drug over dose.

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  16. Wishing Hilath a speedy recovery...

    What is up with some people using Islam to bash on each other. And there is nothing Islamic about wishing ill will on others...

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  17. i known Hilath from school days. he was the quite guy who had a simple life of his own. Earlier he happens to be a very nice gentle guy who goes to the mosque for regular prayers mostly with his father. After leaving school joined President's Office where he was in the media section and later change his career to journalism and joined Haveeru Daily. He was among few budding writers those days and everyone started knowing him and admiring him for his writings and journalistic skills. Even when he goes for news coverage to the tourist resorts he used to carry a prayer mattress or "Musalla". I have seen him praying in the resorts. He always makes sure not to miss a prayer. However he wasn’t a fundamental -- but still tries to be a good Muslim by praying five times a day. Ever since he went to Malaysia for farther studies his life style began to change. After coming back to Maldives I got one opportunity to travel along with him to a resort. This time surprisingly I found a different man. No more players and went with us to the discotheque. That was around early 2003 I guess. It is very sad to hear a very valuable Maldivian son has drifted and by than has accumulated a lot of change in his life style. Surfing, music and smoking began. There could be two major events that why this talented guy knows has to be under arrest. One is growing fundamentalism in Maldives immediately after the formation of Adhaalth Party. I hope Hilath will recover soon and will come back to his life

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  18. Dear Hilath,

    I don't know whether everything this article says about you is true. If it is true, I hope you recover fully and completely.

    I hope this incident gives you strength to look back and reflect upon your life more deeply.

    My sincere advice is for you to start with a brand new beginning.

    No, I have never met you, never seen you and not known you except from what is there on internet. But as a fellow human being, I wish you well and I wish you every success in your life.

    May God bless you always.

    Robin

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  19. Hilath,

    I do not think that you are in the right psychological state to think about religion, drugs and other social issues we face today. I believe you don't have what it takes to face the reality in Maldives so it would be better for your health if you stop thinking about these things, at least for now.

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  20. guilty until proven innocent. But in our country Murderers and child abusers are not defamed this way. what a Joke!

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  21. I've never heard Hilath promote any violence or hate against anyone. How does it make any sense for people to call for his death and then claim that HE is the one spreading hate.

    And I agree with what Rushdhee has said. Being a critic of Adhaalath and other extremist elements in our society is not the same thing as being against all of Islam.

    He did however speak out against what others are too afraid to talk about and in doing so, he gave others the courage to do so as well.

    He's human, he's not perfect, we're not supposed to be; but for all the good he has done, he should be thanked.

    I hope he gets better soon and sorts his personal life out. It should remain so too, personal. We have no business prying.

    Do not judge a person by a specific act but by the whole of his actions. Better yet, don't judge at all.

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  22. Dear Hilath..

    I have followed your blog and writings for a number of years. Your a one of the best writers I have seen in the Maldives and I appreciate your openness and thoughts given in to issues you write about.

    I hope this will be another experience for you to expand as a person and see the world from a perspective...

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  23. ...at last!
    My god, what a pathetic life is Hilath living... sleeping under Magoo trees???

    ...and you guys still commenting in favor of him? I can not and will not expect anything good out a child abuser, likewise how can Hilath's work be a solution to our problem.

    An anti-social element!
    AN ANTI-SOCIAL ELEMENT!
    ...
    an anti-social element, sad!

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  24. ok. here i see again mumbo-jumbo again without any interest on the bigger picture. entertaining our little corners of our little minds..

    its very difficult to place one's self in anothers place/shoes in our society. I don't know Hilath but i used to read some of his articles.. from what observed, it is becoming very hard for people of rationale to live in this society. He seems a passionate person who loves his country and wants the best for it. BUT when so much wrong is done, both at an individual level and at community level, one might resort to outrageously crazy things..especially given the social environment... now we all know we live in a very crazy one..

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  25. abllho on Sat, 26th Jun 2010 5:13 PM
    "The guy should have been killed or died long ago. He is too much for our society. .."

    Why is Minivan News allowing comments that advocate violence? Is this responsible journalism? Or is this all right under the guise of 'freedom of speech'?

    As for Hilath, I will wait for the outcome of the police investigation before judging whether it was self-inflicted or attempted murder. In any case, I am glad it wasn't successful. He is one of the most creative writers of our time. I do not necessarily agree with all of his views but that is beside the point.

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  26. Fundamentalism buddies……… who is teaching fundamentalism.. I myself have reformed a lot after all these lectures by religious people. I am still trying my best to pray 5 times a day , to have good manners on the road and be a peaceful person. I thank you Allah for showing me the light, the straight path and peaceful way of life .. i am happy and my mind is clam .. may Allah give our religious people all the courage and hope to make this nation a better place.. thank you all for bring me back to Islam .. the way of peace

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  27. Get well soon Hilath. And don't listen to the extremists leaving comments here... they only turn to extreme clubs because they can't get girls

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  28. Journalism to jail. I believe journalists should also follow ethics, rules, regulations and laws.

    Hilath Rasheed is well known for his pro articles on gay and anti-Islamic activities.

    This country does not want criminals as journalists. Today he promoted "gay" which is a crime under the Maldivian law.

    I call the judiciary to give him the harshest penalty if proven guilty.

    Also Salim Waheed, could you do a survey in the Maldivian jails and find out whether why many are behind the bars. Are the religious extremists or the liberal people who follow the western ideologies.

    I believe following extremism will prevent crimes like rape, drugs, child abuse....etc.

    Thanks,

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  29. @Hani
    "I’ve never HEARD Hilath promote any violence or hate against anyone"

    You must have READ, at least?

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  30. lets not jump to conclusions...we don't know what happened...i think hilath has contributed many positive writings to society as well...he probably went to islam bashing following the likes of yamyn and this anony guy...

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  31. Hilath, man you are an educated, capable person who is better than many other Maldivians. You just need to tell yourself this.

    Wish you a speedy recovery.

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  32. Dear Hilath

    Hope you have a speedy recovery and may God give you the strength to face your issue.

    Best of luck
    Fasy

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  33. how can a person like that be welcomed by the family. For his parents he will still be the cute lovely baby whom they had long time back. but how can a person like that be welcomed in a family where there are muslims...i repeat...muslims.

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