Two months since journalist Ahmed Rilwan Abdulla was abducted, police remain unforthcoming with any solid information regarding their investigation into the matter.
In fact, to date, police have refused to confirm what nature of case they believe Rilwan’s disappearance is; is he a runaway or has he been abducted? Is he alive or deceased?
The public is teeming with unanswered questions which the police have so far systematically ignored.
Rilwan was last seen in the early hours of August 8 at the Hulhumale’ Ferry Terminal in Male’.
As he is a loner by nature, it took 5 days for family and friends to be certain that he had indeed gone missing.
A missing person’s report was filed with the police on August 13 by his family.
It took the police three additional days to even visit Rilwan’s apartment, by which time friends had organized a thorough search through out Hulhumale’.
Family and friends provided police with CCTV footage from the ferry terminal in which Rilwan was last spotted, and pointed out Rilwan and suspects believed to have been following him.
The whole of August went by without any public statements from police. The Home Minister, however, gave a press conference where he said “top cops” are assigned to the case.
In early September, the People’s Majlis summoned Commissioner of Police Hussain Waheed for questioning on the lack of progress in the #findmoyameehaa investigation. The same night police released a statement with quantities of all investigative work they claim to have conducted.
They failed to mention the lack of progress or leads that the statistics provided.
The statement was then followed up on September 16; a replica of the earlier statement with a few changes to the numbers.
Despite eye witness accounts to the contrary, police have claimed that they fail to see any conclusive links between Rilwan’s disappearance and an abduction that took place outside Rilwan’s apartment on the very night he disappeared at around the same time he would have reached the location.
They have also inexplicably failed to be able to confirm whether Rilwan reached Hulhumale’ or not on the night he disappeared although CCTV footage shows him entering the terminal, an eye witness claims to have sat next to him on the ferry, and there are no records of anyone having fallen off that ferry.
By September 30th, media reported that 4 suspects have been taken into police custody regarding the case.
No additional information regarding the arrests, or the follow up after the arrests has been made public by the police.
Private Investigator’s Report
The arrests closely followed the releasing of a Private Investigator’s report into Rilwan’s disappearance.
The report was released by local NGO Maldivian Democracy Network on September 22, naming suspects and ruling out possibilities of suicide and voluntary disappearance.
The report led to threats and attacks from notorious gang members named in the report. Police, while notified of these, came across as spending more energy on protecting the wrong more than the wronged.
61 days since Rilwan was abducted, we are still waiting on the police to complete the investigation, #findmoyameehaa, and identify and take the perpetrators to court.