Final report on missing journo's case expected by end of year

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has stated that the Presidential Commission on Deaths and Disappearances (DDCOM)’s final report on the abduction of Miniwan News Journalist, Ahmed Rilwan will be ready by the end of the year.

Rilwan was abducted in August 2014 outside his apartment in reclaimed suburb, Hulhumale'. As per the initial report prepared on his disappearance by the Commission, Rilwan’s disappearance and subsequent murder was a retaliatory act of a Maldives branch of extremist group Al-Qaedah after he ridiculed Islam.

During December 2018, DDCOM had announced that it would complete the investigation on Rilwan’s abduction within two years. While two years have already passed since then, no significant progress has been made in identifying the details of the case.

Speaking at a campaign rally held by main-ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) on Sunday, President Solih spoke on Rilwan’s case and said several candidates competing in the upcoming local council election have voiced concern over the delay in concluding Rilwan’s case. The president said the commission’s progress in investigating in the case is periodically shared with the victim’s family, and said that foreign experts have been brought in to expand the investigation. Some items have been sent abroad for analysis, said the president.

The president said the commission has requested the government to grant time until the end of the year to wrap up the investigation and prepare its final report. The report, which would include the expert’s analysis, is therefore expected to be ready by the end of the year, said President Solih.

The president acknowledged that while several years have passed since Rilwan’s abduction, there are several challenges to properly investigating the root of the case.