Following the fatal stabbing of Yameen Rasheed, a government critic and blogger, Marietje Schaake submitted the questions below to High-Representative Federderica Mogherini.
On the 23rd of April, Yameen Rasheed was stabbed to death(1). A frequent critic of the Maldivian government on his ‘Daily Panic’ blog, Mr Rasheed had received death threats.
The situation in the Maldives continues to deteriorate as the government uses recently adopted defamation laws to silence critics and block protests. Bloggers and journalists face threats, arrests, forced disappearances and even death, while independent media outlets have faced lawsuits and shutdowns.
1. Is the VP/HR aware of the case of Mr Rasheed and will she discuss it with Maldivian authorities at the highest level while urging an independent investigation into his death?
2. When will a new strategy paper for the Maldives be adopted, given the old one expired in 2013 and in what way will the current crackdown on Maldivian civil society and the media be reflected in this strategy?
3. Under which instruments does the Maldives currently receive EU funds, what is the total amount of funds allocated for the coming period until 2020 and what can the VP/HR report about the effectiveness of these funds, given the governments continuous moving in the opposite direction on issues including human rights, freedom of expression and assembly?