International media watch dog Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has called on the Maldives government to deploy all necessary resources to find a missing journalist, local media reported on Wednesday.
The journalist named Ahmed Rilwan Abdulla was employed by local newspaper Minivan at the time of his disappearance.
Minivan News strongly believes Rilwan was abducted in the early hours of August 8. The paper has received multiple eyewitness statements claiming they saw a man being forced into a car at knife point around 2 am on August 8 in front of Rilwan's residence.
"We are extremely worried by Rilwan's disappearance and urge the authorities to step up their efforts to find him as quickly as possible," said RSF secretary-general Christophe Deloire.
"There is every reason to be concerned about Rilwan, especially as gangs and religious extremists are very often responsible for threats to journalists. Ismail Hilath Rasheed, a freelance journalist known for his support for religious tolerance, only narrowly survived a murder attempt in June 2012."
The press freedom advocacy group said it is "very concerned" about Rilwan's disappearance and has urged "the Maldives authorities to deploy whatever resources are necessary to find him. "
The Maldives Police Services at a press conference on Sunday night said Rilwan's case was of "high priority," but declined to reveal details of the investigation. The matter has also been taken up in parliament by opposition members.