While conceding that there was “a problem with presentation” concerning the falsely attributed quote, Sun Online Editor Ahmed ‘Hiriga’ Zahir said the Irish Times article was “written based on an interview Nasheed gave to the paper more than the paper’s editorial opinion”.
“Malé has become a jail in broad daylight, full of fear. Now since the threats started being sent, the first person, a journalist, has been abducted,” said MDP MP Ibrahim Shareef during a parliamentary debate today.
“There is every reason to be concerned about Rilwan, especially as gangs and religious extremists are very often responsible for threats to journalists,” Reporters Without Borders has said after Minivan News said it believed Ahmed Rilwan has been abducted.
Two eyewitnesses in Hulhumalé have reported seeing a man in dark clothes being forced into a vehicle at knifepoint outside Rilwan’s apartment at around 2am. Ahmed Rilwan was last seen boarding the 1am ferry to Hulhumale on August 8.
“The death threats are being issued to Honourable Gasim Ibrahim by those displeased with his efforts in the People’s Majlis, the media, and various other arenas for the benefit and wellbeing of the Maldivian people,” said the Jumhooree Party.
“The people of Maldives are not allowed to express or assemble freely, which is a fundamental right they are taking away from them,” argued Shahinda Ismail, urging changes to the freedom of association laws.
A 16-point guideline imposed by the Supreme Court on the Elections Commission in a controversial judgment annulling the first round of last year’s presidential election should be incorporated into electoral laws, Attorney General Mohamed Anil has said.
Today’s sitting of parliament was meanwhile adjourned after MDP MPs raised consecutive points of order contending that the committee completed its review with unprecedented and undue haste after ignoring the views of opposition MPs.
The police were unable to offer new information on the ninth day of Minivan News journalist Ahmed Rilwan’s disappearance. The PPM and President’s Spokesperson have expressed concern over the case, while the MDP called on the UN to pressure the government to conduct a speedy and thorough investigation.