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Journalist missing in the Maldives

UPDATE from IFJ: IFJ and SAMSN demand action on search for missing Maldivian journalist (19 August 2014)

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and its affiliate the Maldives Journalists Association (MJA) call on the Maldives government to speed up investigation to clarify whereabouts of journalist Ahmed Rilwan Adbulla, who is missing since August 8, 2014.

According to reports, Abdulla, a 28-year-old journalist with Minivan News was reported missing to the police. He was last seen on early morning on Friday, August 8 on a ferry traveling to Hulhumale Island from the capital Male wearing black trousers and a turquoise shirt.

The Police said that the immigration records show he has not left the country, while there is no evidence to suggest that he returned to his apartment, according to his news organization.

"As with many journalists, Rilwan has been subject to intimidation because of his work, although Minivan News urges caution at a time when there is little information with which to draw firm conclusions," wrote the Minivan News.

The MJA called on all relevant authorities to make an extra effort to clarify the whereabouts of Abdulla.

The IFJ said: "The disappearance of Ahmed Rilwan Adbulla, who has been missing for a week in the Maldives is deeply concerning."

"We call on the authorities to undertake a full investigation up to and including the time of his disappearance, conducted with the utmost seriousness, with all findings released to the public. The disappearance of journalists is a serious matter and full support must be provided to the family."

The MJA also expressed grave concern over recent incidents of threats sent through text messages to local journalists. The MJA called on all parties to refrain from obstructing a free and independent media in the Maldives.

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