Who Killed My Friend, Yameen Rasheed?

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My human rights activist and blogger friend, Yameen Rasheed, was murdered on 23rd April 2017. Nothing about his murderers are known yet. No suspects have been arrested. And this is in a country of a little over 400,000 people where Yameen is well-known. Yameen's father, Mr. Rasheed, submitted 800+ petitions to the Maldives Police yesterday (2nd May 2017), calling for an independent and credible investigation into his son's brutal murder. The Police rejected the petitions on the same day. This is why I created this petition so that we may request the Maldivian President, Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom, to call for a credible independent investigation into the death of my friend. I do this for his father who had justice slam its door in his face, for his mother who lost a beautiful son, for his best friend Rilwan who has been missing for three years, for Rilwan's mother who has lost two sons, and for Maldives because the country deserves so much better, and infinitely more.

This is the Petition letter which also appears on a separate link below:

Your Excellency,

I am writing for my late friend, Yameen Rasheed. I have been closely following news from the Maldives over the last few days, hoping this time your country will not fail in the deliverance of justice and in the fortification of hope - so desperately needed by your country and all of us at this point.

Because Rilwan.

Because Yameen.

I submit these two names to you as I am connected to both. I came to know of Rilwan through several Maldivian friends, and most familiarly through Yameen. I have had the privilege to be a part of the Find Moyameehaa campaign thanks to Yameen.

Yameen was a dear friend. I am still coming to terms with the fact that he no longer is. But I burn everyday with the passion to find justice for him just as he burned to find Rilwan.

Rilwan and Yameen mean different things to different people. To a lot of people, they embody courage, optimism, selflessness, and of course the higher ideals of what it means to be human and not beasts. Your religious extremists on the other hand would not understand this. How would they without basic empathy?

I have deep respect for Islam. Not for radical Islamists. I am aware that many of them threatened Yameen openly for the last couple of months. He had filed complaints to the Police, but no action had been taken.

Who would have thought he would be murdered so savagely?

Perhaps your Police had not expected such brutality too. Perhaps they are as stunned by his murder as we all are that they have lost the ability to function normally. Only this could explain their immediate rejection of the 800 plus petition calling for an independent investigation into his murder. Yameen’s father, Mr. Rasheed, had submitted the petition yesterday (2nd May 2017) but had it returned to him a couple of hours after.

I saw Mr. Rasheed’s photograph circulating on social media. He was carrying the rejected petitions. It made me cry, Your Excellency. This is a huge door being slammed in the face of someone who obviously believes in the institution no matter how hopelessly dark the situation.

I write to you because I believe you will do what is urgent. Who else can we turn to? I love the Maldives and my Maldivian friends, and it hurts so much to experience such ugliness. I am sure Your Excellency must be as affected.

Your Excellency, I would like to request you to invite international participation in the investigation of Yameen’s murder and the disappearance of Rilwan. Three years have lapsed since Rilwan’s disappearance. It has been a little over three years since Your Excellency took office as well. Is it not high time that you shut down naysayers by doing what is needed, without fear or favour?

Your Excellency is a powerful man. You, Sir, are in a position to deal with religious extremism better than most of us. Maldives is a beautiful country, but her beauty is tarnished by the murder of beautiful humans, and religious extremists. I am sorry to say, Your Excellency, but due to the timing of the tragedy, Yameen's blood is on your hands. I have no other choice but to hold you accountable.

My dear friend, Yameen Rasheed, cannot be brought back, but what he fought for so ardently while he lived must be protected at all costs and by all means.

Your Excellency, my late friend and you even share the same name. The only difference is he did not enjoy the security you do. What if you find yourself on the other side tomorrow? On the side that was inhabited by Yameen? Armed only with words?

Your Excellency, all Yameen wanted for himself and for other Maldivians was a “Dignified Life Wish,” not a death wish. He actually tweeted this on 9th August 2015.

Now, he’s gone. Despite not having had a death wish.

I write this letter to Your Excellency on behalf of his parents: The Rasheeds and for Rilwan and his parents. Please, call for an international and independent investigation into Yameen’s murder and Rilwan’s disappearance. I hope Your Excellency will find this petition signed by Maldivians and a concerned global citizenry important enough to call for a credible enquiry because Maldivians, I, and the world would like to know: Who Killed My Friend, Yameen Rasheed? And we want to Find Moyameehaa.

Thank you.



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