Maldives to file charges against 7 people in blogger's death

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) - Maldives police said on Monday they have substantial evidence against seven people in connection with the killing of a blogger in April and will soon file charges against them in court.

All seven are currently in detention.

In a statement, the police named three people who they said actually carried out the killing.

The blogger, Yameen Rasheed, was found stabbed near his apartment on April 23. He died later in a hospital. He was a critic of politicians and of rising radical Islamic views in the Indian Ocean archipelago.

He also spoke out on issues such as health, migrant workers' rights and policing, and was seeking justice for his friend, journalist Ahmed Rilwan, who has been missing for nearly three years after being reportedly abducted.

Rasheed's family has said they don't trust the government and called for an international investigation into his death.

Maldives is a predominantly Sunni Muslim state and there has been rising radicalism in recent years.

President Yameen Abdul Gayoom's government has curbed freedom of speech and assembly, with heavy fines imposed on journalists and social media users who are found guilty of defamation.

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