Maldives authorities must promptly and thoroughly investigate the brutal stabbing in broad daylight today of one of the lawyers of ex-President Mohamed Nasheed and bring to justice those responsible for it, Amnesty International said.
Mahfooz Saeed, who is also a member of the opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) and an active blogger, was attacked by two men in the Maldivian capital Male today around 5pm local time. The men stabbed him in his head, and he is currently going through emergency surgery. The police must undertake a full, impartial and independent investigation, using all available information including any footage from nearby CCTV cameras.
“This vicious attack must not go unpunished – Maldives authorities must ensure that human rights defenders can work free from fear of reprisals and that those responsible are held to account. There are strong suspicions that this was a targeted attack against Mahfooz Saeed and it is crucial that the true motive is uncovered,” said Abbas Faiz, Amnesty International’s Maldives Researcher.
“Political tensions in Maldives are running high, and there is a climate of fear spreading among opposition supporters and human rights defenders, as the human rights situation has deteriorated over the past two years. Maldivian authorities must send a clear message that these attacks are not tolerated – impunity will only foster intimidation and violence.”