Unanswered questions – Even after 3 years

The well-known journalist and blogger Ahmed Rilwan has been missing since the 8th of August 2014.  Three years have passed and even today the family and loved ones of the 28-year-old blogger live in grief.

At the early stages of investigation in 2014, 5 men were arrested and Rilwan’s DNA was found in a car assumes to be connected to the case. After 3 years of ongoing investigations, officials from the Police and the Government said that they have done everything in their power to find Rilvan. They confidently say that they have left “no stones unturned”. However, even today, the same questions that were asked 3 years ago still cross our minds. Where is Rilwan? What happened to him? Will justice prevail? Can he be found? Yet, we receive no answers.

Throughout the Investigation of the abduction of Rilwan, police “Combed” through CCTV footages, found a man suspected to have followed Rilwan while he was in male’ and even found DNA evidence that supported the arrest of the individuals apprehended at first. The Police themselves said that the investigation has had many new leads and that they are confident about the progress made. The fast pace of the investigation gave the public and Rilwan’s family hope that Rilwan will soon be found and the people behind the abduction will be brought to justice.

Three years later today, there are no suspects in the custody of Maldives Police Service in connection to  Rilwan’s case. All the hopes and dreams that the 28-year-old blogger would be found and brought home – the hope that told us that justice will always prevail – have been “crushed under the stones” of these unanswered questions and feelings of fear and suspicion. Even the simplest of questions where left with blank answers. Is he alive? Or do we mourn the death of Rilwan? Seems like it is left to be decided by ourselves.

Many people express concern due to the fact that in three years, not only have they failed to find him but even the question of “dead or alive?” has no answer. The well-known blogger and journalist’s disappearance has also created concerns about the safety of the ones who remain in that field on work. The recent murder of Yamin Rasheed who was also a blogger and activist has also created chaos and fear among all even though the killers have been found and apprehended.

Mariyam Shehenaaz, the sister of the abducted journalist recently said that the family, after all this time, does not want the answers to the “who” and the “why” but the only answer they seek is whether he is alive or not. She stated that the family has given up hope that the abductors of Rilwan would be found anytime soon but that they are holding on to the hope that someday, Rilwan will return hope to his mother and family.

People speak of this tragedy in different ways. Some say that the abduction was staged by under a political game and develop such theories while the loved ones and family of Ahmed Rilwan, even today, live in grief and pain. All they want are answers – answers to the 3-year-old unanswered questions constantly reminded to them each and every day.