Dr Afrasheem Ali, Islamic Scholar and MP for Ungoofaaru, was buried shortly before 5:00pm at Asahara cemetery in Male’.
Thousands gathered for the funeral prayers which took place at the Islamic Center. The prayers were led by former President and leader of Afrasheem’s party Maumoon Abdul Gayoom.
Long queues of those wishing to pay their last respects formed by Republican Square, where the national flag will fly at half mast for the next two days.
Local news source Sun Online covered the day’s events via a live feed.
Sun reported that arrival of the members of Afrasheem’s family in Male’ this morning, as well as the presence of several MPs at the Islamic Center – today’s session of the Majlis was cancelled.
The MP was subjected to a brutal attack last night when returning to his home after appearing on state television.
Afrasheem’s wife found his body, displaying multiple stab wounds to the head and back, at the foot of the stairs outside their home.
A councillor from Afrasheem’s home island told Haveeru that the community had come to a virtual standstill following news of its MP’s death.
“Many still find it hard to believe that Afrasheem is gone. Their faces show despair,” council member Hussain Najeeb told the paper.
Afrasheem’s coffin was draped in a Maldivian flag, which was handed to his son shortly before the final burial.
Afrasheem’s murder has made headlines around the world, with news agencies such as the BBC, CNN, and the Wall Street Journal carrying the news of the Majlis member’s death.
Politicians and institutions of all stripes have today joined with the mourning nation in condemning the slaying and calling for swift justice.
The Maldivian Democratic Party, Adhaalath Party and Afrasheem’s own Progressive Party of Maldives released statements to this effect.
Speaking to local media from the ADK hospital, where Afrasheem’s body was initially taken, Gayoom told Sun Online that the Maldives had lost a talented and unique scholar.
“He was a great teacher. We lost a scholar today, and I am saddened by this. I strongly condemn this act. God willing, the perpetrators will be found and brought to justice through a Court process,” said Gayoom.
Vice President Waheed Deen told local media there would be swift retribution for the crime.
“Law enforcement authorities will not stop until a result is obtained within 24 hours. The investigation won’t leave a stone unturned,” he said.
Former President Mohamed Nasheed, currently campaigning in the SouthernAatolls took to social media to declare his sharing of the nation’s fear and sadness following the murder.
Local media cited “reliable sources” in saying an arrest had been made just before 5:00am this morning, although – more than 12 hours later – Police Spokesman Sub Inspector Hassan Haneef told Minivan News that police were unable to confirm this.
The police have set up a toll free number which can be used for anyone with information regarding the murder: 334 0026.
Numerous institutions including the Elections Commission, the Judicial Services Commission, the Islamic Foundation of the Maldives, and the United Nations have released statements.
The United Nations, on its International Day of Non-Violence, condemned the murder of an “accomplished scholar”.
“The United Nations team in the Maldives is shocked by the murder of Member of Parliament Dr Afrahshim Ali. The United Nations condemns this crime in the strongest possible terms, and hopes justice will be brought to bear,” read the statement.