Family petitions UN probe into blogger's murder

The family of slain local blogger and social media activist Yameen Rasheed has urged representatives of several United Nation (UN) rights bodies to instigate an international investigation into Yameen's gruesome murder.

Renowned international human rights lawyer Jared Genser, representing the victim's family had sent a letter to the UN high commissioner for human rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein and four different UN special rapporteurs urging an international investigation noting the lack of faith in the local police.

Genser who is a leading member in former president Mohamed Nasheed's legal team had said local police had failed to take an preventive measures despite Yameen being a victim of multiple death threats.

The letter also noted that the history of substandard investigations into previous attacks against bloggers and journalists, including missing journalist Ahmed Rilwan and murdered lawmaker Dr Afrasheem Ali in the Maldives as another reason why the UN should intervene.

"... I believe that it is absolutely critical that an investigation into Rasheed’s murder be led by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights or other reputable international organization," the letter read.

Maldives government meanwhile had assured the international community that Yameen's murder investigation was of "utmost priority" vowing to bring the perpetrators behind the heinous crime to justice.

Police, on Tuesday, made a statement for the first time on the arrests made in connection to the murder and announced that they arrested four during last week and two earlier, taking the total to six arrests in connection to the case.

Police had earlier slapped travel bans on several other people believed to be connected to the gruesome murder.

Yameen's murder has left the entire nation – especially active social media users, who Yameen was a close ally to, shaken by the news.

According to Yameen’s family, he was stabbed over 16 times in the neck, head and even the face at around 3am in his own home’s stairwell.

Police last week had sent the forensic evidence abroad to be analyzed by foreign experts.

The move comes as the victim's family has urged the police and the government to seek foreign aid in the investigation.

The police identified suspects involved in the murder through a series of CCTV footage and had officially announced a manhunt.