|Image via the Facebook page of Secular Democratic Maldives Movement|
It has been 365 days since Maldivian journalist, blogger and human rights advocate Ahmed Rizwan Abdulla went missing. The 28-year-old, who works for online news site Minivan News, is an advocate of democracy and free speech and a prolific social media user.
There has been no real progress in the investigation and the people behind his abduction have not been identified. The Maldivian Police and the government have remained silent.
Rilwan's friend Yameen Rasheed describes what has happened in the space of a year:
To demand action and accountability from the state, Rilwan’s well-wishers started the #FindMoyameehaa campaign – the first of its kind in the Maldives. The campaign has organized rallies, petitions, public events, awareness programs on the streets, and also engages the public on social media. The #FindMoyameehaa campaign has drawn widespread attention and international press coverage, and also generated responses – including statements from IFJ, SAMSN, Amnesty International, Reporters Without Borders, the Human Rights Commission of the Maldives, and various national and international bodies.On July 8, 2015 Rilwan’s family called for an independent public inquiry into the disappearance and the lapses in the investigation.
On August 6, Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) urged Maldives to launch an independent investigation into Rilwan's case.
No new leads, no updates, no news, and no effort to investigate. Doesn't he matter? #FindMoyameehaa #SuvaaluMarch pic.twitter.com/9QAhUibp9w— Hanaan Didi (@hanaandidi) August 8, 2015
It can't be more obvious that the state is complicit in the abduction of Rilwan. Which is why they will never help #findmoyameehaa— Nora Nazeer (@NoraNazeer) August 8, 2015
To mark one year of his disappearance, the family has requested a public rally on August 8 to remind the state of its duty to protect journalists and enforce the law. The opposition Maldives Democratic party has endorsed the rally.Yameen Rasheed @yaamyn talks about disappearance of journalist & #findmoyameehaa campaign in @ifjasiapacific video https://t.co/ctjLxs3LU8— Ujjwal Acharya (@UjjwalAcharya) August 7, 2015
Maldivians are using hashtags #suvaalumarch and #findmoyameeha to spread word about the rally:
RT EasaDhari: RT MDPYouth: #Live #SuvaaluMarch #FindMoyameeha #HappenningNow pic.twitter.com/z4VafWxSz6— Aneh Velidhoo MDP ® (@AnehVelidhoo) August 8, 2015
Rilwan's colleague @ZaheenaR says he was abducted to kill the hope for a better Maldives. #FindMoyameehaa pic.twitter.com/42o0A6SIdt— Mickail Naseem (@MickailNaseem) August 8, 2015
#SuvaaluMarch was just concluded and @PoliceMv is back to inflict more pain on a suffering family and friends. pic.twitter.com/uDfDLr0oOq— Mariyath Mohamed (@EhJu) August 8, 2015
Maldives' police tried to stop a peaceful silent #suvaalumarch led by missing journo's family. Friends & family pepper sprayed & manhandled.— MushfiqueMohamed (@mushfique_) August 8, 2015
Intimidating and attacking Rilwan's family members during the otherwise-peaceful #SuvaaluMarch? @PoliceMv don't know the meaning of shame...— Ahmed Hazyl Hilmy (@hazylium) August 8, 2015
Usually don't lose my cool, but how @PoliceMv treated Rilwan's family today at #suvaalumarch was blood boiling. pic.twitter.com/yNa20kkczB— Naif Naeem (@nAAYf) August 8, 2015
@PoliceMv said #SuvaaluMarch was obstructing traffic. What they have become is an obstruction to justice. #FindMoyameehaa— Shauna Aminath (@anuahsa) August 8, 2015
And people still have hope:Police manhandled members @moyameehaa 's family&friends to prevent them from continuing #suvaalumarch . Broke my shades with all the pushing— Aeko Fathih (@aekofathih) August 8, 2015
Keep writing, drawing, singing, dancing, praying, continue to speak truth to power, tell the world of Ahmed Rilwan's story #FindMoyameehaa— Zaheena Rasheed (@ZaheenaR) August 8, 2015
The post was also published in Global Voices Online.