“Police are investigating a violent attack on a ‘silent protest’ calling for religious tolerance, held at the Artificial Beach to mark Human Rights Day.
Witnesses said a group of men threw rocks at the 15-30 demonstrators, calling out threats and vowing to kill them.
One witness who took photos of the attacked said he was “threatened with death if these pictures were leaked. He said we should never been seen in the streets or we will be sorry.”
Among those injured in the attack was Ismail ‘Khilath’ Rasheed, a controverisal blogger whose website was recently blocked by the Communications Authority of the Maldives (CAM) on the order of the Ministry of Islamic Affairs.
Rasheed suffered a head injury and was rushed to Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH).“They started hitting us with bricks. They were aiming at our heads – we could tell they were serious and wanted to kill us,” Rasheed told Minivan News from hospital. “I was taken on a motorcycle to IGMH, but I could see them behind me still hitting my friends.” – Minivannews report on the attack
Hilath Rasheed after the attack. His skull was fractured and he would have to be hospitalised. On December 14th, Maldives Police would arrest him instead of the attackers. Hilath was widely accused by the Maldivian community of being gay and irreligious.
Less than a year later, on the night of June 4th 2012, he would barely survive getting his throat slashed.
“Yesterday, a bunch of 5 or so bearded thugs were sent to the Artificial Beach in Male’ to attack a gathering of silent protesters who were seated in protest against the lack of Religious freedom in the Maldives.” – Yaameen Rasheed, journalist & human rights activist [Murdered on 23rd April 2017]
A cowardly attack – Yaamyn’s blog
Blogger arrested as police investigate both protests
Protesters calling for religious tolerance attacked with stones, threatened with death
Prominent blogger Hilath Rasheed in critical condition after stabbing