DDCom: Working to hire a foreign expert within September

Ahmed Rilwan Abdulla: He was last seen in the early hours of August 8, 2014. (File Photo)

Disappearances and Death Commission, a presidential commission established by Maldivian President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih to investigate unsolved murders and enforced disappearances, said on Saturday that the commission is working to hire a foreign expert to assist in the investigations.

DDCom, in a statement on Saturday evening, said that the commission was collaborating with the President’s Office to hire a foreign expert to investigate in the investigations within September.

The statement comes on the sixth anniversary of the disappearance of Ahmed Rilwan Abdulla, one of the most high-profile cases under the investigation of the commission.

It also comes after President Solih, in a handwritten message he tweeted earlier this Saturday, said that his administration was working on adding a reliable foreign investigator to the investigative team, in accordance with the wishes of Rilwan’s family.

DDCom said in its statement that President Solih made the decision to hire a foreign expert to assist in the investigations of the commission following a meeting with the families of Rilwan and slain blogger Yameen Rasheed on July 2.

DDCom said that it believes there may be more people with information regarding Rilwan’s case, and said that the opportunity to share information with the commission remained open.

Rilwan, 28, a journalist at Maldives Independent, was last seen on August 8, 2014. He is believed to have been abducted and murdered.

He was last seen boarding a ferry to suburban Hulhumale’ wearing a black shirt and pants and carrying a backpack.

No trace of him has been found since.

Preliminary investigative findings by DDCom show Rilwan had been abducted and murdered. He was forced into a car while on his way to his apartment in Hulhumale’, forced on a boat registered to A. A. Ukulhas, and killed and thrown overboard.

DDCom links the case with a group of Maldivian extremists affiliated with an international terrorist organization.

Finding justice for Rilwan and other victims of unsolved murders and enforced disappearances was one of President Solih’s key pledges in the run up to the 2018 presidential elections.

However, the case remains under investigation six years on, and has yet to produce any convictions.

A biography chronicling Rilwan’s life and disappearance was released earlier this Saturday.