Slain blogger's family calls for open trial

Slain local blogger Yameen Rasheed's family together with local NGOs are knocking on the doors of relevant authorities calling for an open trial of his gruesome murder.

The 29-year-old social media activist was found with severe stab injuries in the stairwell of his home in April and was rushed to the state-run Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH) where he was pronounced dead shortly after.

Six suspects have been charged with first degree murder but the trial is being held behind closed doors on request of the state prosecutor.

Several family members along with officials of the Maldives Democracy Network (MDN) and Transparency Maldives had tried to meet the country's human rights watchdog, police and the prosecutor general on Thursday.

After being denied the chance to a formal meeting, MDN chief Shahinda Ismail expressed deep concern by the continued trial behind closed doors.

"We just want to make sure that the trial is fair. Because the proceedings are being held behind closed doors, the family can't know if the trial is fair and just. That's what the family wants to ensure," the former police watchdog chief added.

Yameen had been very vocal about receiving death threats for publishing his strong views on politics and religious extremism through his political-satire blog ‘The Daily Panic’. He had even claimed on social media that he reported these threats to the police, but that it fell on deaf ears. However, the police claim that they did investigate the threats and gave regular updates to Yameen.