Govt: DDCom’s findings will be shared upon receipt of reports

Chief Spokesperson of the President's Office Heena Waleed -- Photo/ President's Office

The government, on Wednesday, said the information in the reports compiled by the Deaths and Disappearances Commission (DDCom) following their inquiry into cases will be shared with the public upon receipt of the reports to the President’s Office.

DDCom, a commission set up by former president Ibrahim Mohamed Solih in 2018, is mandated with investigating enforced disappearances and murders to uncover the truth behind unsolved cases and establish justice

However, incumbent President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu has decided to dissolve the commission at the conclusion of May. Subsequently, many, including several international organizations, have called to publicize the findings of the commission.

Commenting on the matter, spokesperson of the President’s Office Heena Waleed told Sun on Wednesday that information included on DDCom’s reports will be shared with the public upon receipt to the office. However, Heena said a specific date to disclose information can only be decided upon receipt of the reports.

DDCom, last week, announced it is seeking to share redacted reports on two of the most high-profile murders it investigated – the 2014 abduction and murder of reporter Rilwan Abdulla and the 2017 murder of blogger Yameen Rasheed – with the families of the victims.

The commission said it intends to complete redacted reports by May 31st, so that the victims’ families can access important information about the cases. It further said it would recommend to President Muizzu to release the redacted reports.

Ahmed Rilwan Abdulla, 28, a journalist who worked for Minivan News (later renamed Maldives Independent), was last seen on August 8, 2014. He is believed to have been abducted and murdered.

Meanwhile, Yameen Rasheed, 29, a blogger and rights activist, was stabbed to death in the stairwell of his residence in Male’ City, M. Spatula, on April 23, 2017.

Preliminary investigative findings by DDCom showed Rilwan was abducted and murdered. He was forced into a car while on his way to his apartment in Hulhumale’, forced on a boat registered to AA. Ukulhas, on board which he was decapitated and his body thrown overboard.

His body was never recovered

The case produced charges against only two suspects. However, they were both acquitted. 

Police and DDCom believe Yameen was murdered over disagreements regarding religion. 

Six suspects were put on trial for his murder; Ismail Haisham Rasheed (H. Annaarumaage, K. Male'), Ahmed Zihan Ismail (M.Iraasmikge, K. Male’), Mohamed Dhifran (Simbadge, G. Dh. Gadhdhoo), Hassan Shifaz (M. Kudhehige, K. Male'), Ismail Rasheed (M. Thaaif, K. Male'), and Hussain Ziyad (M. Kolhufushi East, K. Male'. 

They were charged with murder with intent using a sharp-edged weapon. 

The court issued its ruling in the case on January 19, 2022.

Haisham and Zihan – who were accused of active involvement in the murder – were found guilty of the murder. They were issued life sentences and ordered to pay MVR 1.3 million as diya (financial compensation).

The other four suspects were acquitted.