Finding justice for Dr Afraheem Ali and Ahmed Rilwan is vital if the Maldives is to move towards a new moral order able to handle the country’s current religious fragmentation, writes Azim Zahir.
“HRCM observed during dispersal of demonstrations [police] used disproportionate force which was at times discriminatory towards political parties, excessive and disproportionate use of pepper spray at protestors,” reads the report.
“Conservative beliefs that promote women as inferior to men are being spread at an alarming level. Many women believe that their role in society is to be submissive wives and in raising children. There are roughly 400 children being withheld from attending school by their parents due to religious beliefs,” the report stated.
The only witness to have seen Rilwan on the 1am ferry to Hulhumalé has told Minivan News that the police are unwilling to place Rilwan in Hulhumalé as he had been unable recall seeing the 28-year-old journalist exiting the boat.
Islamic Minister Shaheem has meanwhile revealed that the company informed the ministry last week that it would not be able to take the 125 pilgrims it was authorised to take to Mecca to perform the annual Hajj pilgrimage.
Information Commissioner Abdul Azeez Jamal Abubakur has revealed that the national bureau of classification has given assurances that it would seek to amend the regulations through parliament, suggesting that it had “slipped through their fingers.”
A fine of between MVR500 and MVR5,000 would be imposed for publication of prose or poetry without seeking approval from the national bureau of classification.
“One month on, the demand for answers remains strong and if the figures the police provide are correct, there is vital information that is not being shared with the media that might find the culprits behind his disappearance,” said IFJ acting director Jane Worthington.
Responding to a written question in Westminster, Foreign and Commonwealth Office minister Hugo Swire said the UK government had raised its concerns with Maldivian counterparts.