Opposition files parliament motion for independent probe into blogger's murder

Main opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) lawmaker Ali Nizar on Tuesday filed a motion to parliament in an attempt to push the government for an independent investigation into the brutal stabbing murder of renowned local blogger and social media activist Yameen Rasheed.

The south Hithadhoo MP stated in his motion that despite the blogger receiving multiple death threats over his views on politics and religious extremism, police had failed to take heed and offer necessary protection.

He added that such negligence and incompetence would prevent local police to carry out a fair investigation into Yameen's murder.

However, the police claimed that they did investigate the threats and gave regular updates to Yameen.

Yameen’s parents Hussein Rasheed and Mariyam Shifa, on Tuesday, also requested President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom to involve foreign investigators into the case of Yameen’s murder to which the President had vowed for a comprehensive investigation by using all the resources at their disposal in finding the perpetrators behind his murder.

The gruesome murder of Yameen Rasheed had left the entire nation - especially active social media users, who Yameen was a close ally to, shaken by the news. The public has now come together and started a petition to get justice for blogger Yameen. The petition, which is to be submitted to president, has over 300 signatures already.

The 29-year-old social media activist was found with severe stab wounds at around 3am Sunday, and was rushed to the state-run Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH) where he was pronounced dead shortly after.

Police meanwhile, identified the suspects involved in the murder through a series of CCTV footage and officially announced a manhunt.

During an impromptu press conference on Tuesday, assistant police chief Abdulla Nawaz said the suspect believed to have murdered Yameen had been caught on CCTV camera.

"Police had also gathered physical evidence from the crime scene," Nawaz added.

According to Nawaz, police are still reviewing more CCTV footage, questioning suspects and pursuing leads.

Police had also showed captured images from the video footage which shows a man in the stairwell where Yameen was found. The suspect was also captured on another CCTV camera getting on a mopad after exiting the building. Nawaz said investigators were in the process of further enhancing the images which he said would help authorities in the hunt for the suspects.

He also said police have also identified several persons of interest in the case urging the public and media's help in locating the suspects identified in the footage.

According to a family member of Yameen, he was stabbed over 16 times in the neck, chest and also his face.