Parliament to probe police negligence in handling missing journo case

Maldives Parliament on Monday passed a motion to investigate the negligence by Maldives Police Services in the disappearance of Minivan News journalist Ahmed Rilwan.

Three issues pertaining to Rilwan's case were sent to the 18th parliament for further research including identifying the reasons behind the delays in police investigation of Rilwan's abduction. The parliament was also tasked with making inquiries regarding the measures being undertaken to locate Rilwan, in addition to identifying any negligence by the police in handling the case.

The Committee on Security Services (241 committee) concluded that since the case was being investigated by the Presidential Commission investigating Murders and Enforced Disappearances, there was no further need for the cases to be investigated by the committee.

However, once the committee report was presented to the parliament floor, Thulhaadhoo MP Hisaan Hussain proposed an amendment to resolve that the parliament should investigate police negligence in Rilwan's case as a special exemption. Her proposition was seconded by Hinnavaru MP Jeehan Mahmood, and was passed with the unanimous agreement of all 67 members who took part in the vote.

The revised report was approved with 65 out of 67 members voting to accept the report, while two members refrained from voting.

Debating on the committee report, MP Hisaan noted that the presidential commission investigating Rilwan's case does not have the mandate to investigate police negligence. While there are no entities that Rilwan's family has not taken his case to, the parliament should not tun their backs on the opportunity to seek justice for Rilwan, urged Hisaan.

Journalist Ahmed Rilwan was abducted in August 2014. While Four years have passed since his disappearance, what happened to him is still remains unknown. The case is being probed by the President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih's commission investigating Murders and Enforced Disappearances.