Yameen Rasheed, Blogger and IT Specialist, was murdered on 23rd April 2017 inside the entrance of his own home. Stay up to date at - https://weareyaamyn.com/.
I initially began this post as an interactive timeline of Yameen Rasheed's best tweets, but it soon became too inaccessible due to the sheer amount of relevant posts that he was putting out.
So instead, here is a collection of some of his best writings. He deals with topics that very few people in the Maldives have the courage to openly write about. More importantly, the fact that he talked about these issues is being erased from the conversation about his murder.
Furthermore, the dangers and threats that he faced were not a characteristic unique to the current administration. He faced these same threats under Mohamed Nasheed's government as well, who is arguably the best and worst president that the Maldives has ever had. Nasheed promised freedom, but ended up granting those liberties only to religious extremists; and in the process condemned those who opposed those extremists to their fate. In an open letter to Nasheed written in March 2010, Yameen says that he was under investigation by the Maldives Police Service, and accused the president of failing to protect the rights of secular liberal minded Muslims like himself.
He was not your average journalist, blogger, or rights activist. He was of the rare breed that promoted secularism and actively acknowledged the existence of minorities within the Maldives such as LGBTQI people and apostates. There is absolutely no way that the work he was doing was comparable to the output of people who to this day deny the existence of such minorities.
He was a staunch opposer of the Maldivian constitution, which he called intolerant, for it's lack of the basic right of freedom of conscience. There is absolutely no way that he is comparable to the people who, even in their articles about his death, have failed to mention this extremely important fact of life in the Maldives.
Challenging religious radicalism was not some one off thing for Yameen. It was his bread and butter. His mashuni and roshi. To say Yameen didn't write a lot about religion is like saying Stephen King doesn't write a lot of horror. Post after post on his blog deals with these issues directly. Yameen was also the founder of the Facebook group "Ban The Adhaalath" - arguably one of the first ever online groups formed to directly tackle religious extremism within the Maldives.
How can there be a genuine democracy in the Maldives, how can there be genuine freedom, if the right to think differently is illegal?
The posts are all from his blog uglyy.blogspot.com (his main blog up until he created The Daily Panic) and are presented in chronological order except for the first, which is the last post he made on his original blog doubtengine.blogspot.com. I thought it would be appropriate for our starting point to be about his thoughts on moving to the country that would end up killing him.
From March 2011, his blog contains a lot of excerpts of articles of which the full version was available on Minivannews.com, which is now defunct as they changed their name to Maldives Independent. These links no longer work. To make them work, change the minivannews.com to minivannewsarchive.com. For example http://minivannews.com/society/comment-doublethink-culture-18600 goes nowhere but http://minivannewsarchive.com/society/comment-doublethink-culture-18600 works just fine. I have no idea why Minivannews decided to change their URL in that manner. For each of these posts I have also provided an archived version that does contain the full article.
For most articles, I have only added a small section. I highly recommend reading the full versions which are available through the links in the titles.
This is not a complete timeline and ends in December 2011 - the month when Mohamed Nasheed could have ended it all. Instead, the perpetrators of the now infamous cowardly attack walked free. If the violence faced by those minority activists had been acknowledged that early on, especially by the so called progressive regime of Mohamed Nasheed, perhaps Yameen Rasheed would still be with us today.
By continuing to spread his work, we can make sure that his voice lives on.
We are Yameen, and you will never silence us. Take one of us down and another will take our place.