The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins its partner and
affiliate the Maldives Journalists’ Association (MJA) in condemning the August
7 attack on the studio and broadcast facilities of Raajje TV, which left vital
equipment badly damaged, forcing the channel off the air for several hours. We
call on the Maldivian authorities to conduct a swift and independent
investigation into the incident.
During the early hours of August 7, the Male office of
Raajje TV was broken into and critical cables were severed, effectively
terminating the station's nationwide service.
This latest incident follows a series of attacks on
Raajje TV - the only broadcaster aligned with the opposition Maldives
Democratic Party (MDP). According to reports, a senior police official recently
described the TV station along with the MDP leader as “enemies of the state”,
and the station’s most recent application for a broadcast licence was stalled. On July 24, the
police announced they would stop cooperating with Raajje TV, claiming that the
station was broadcasting false and slanderous content about the police which
had undermined their credibility.
“There is a tendency for police
and party activists to target journalists as political turmoil escalates in the
Maldives. We urge authorities to allow an independent investigation
into the attack of August 7 and bring those responsible to account. Attacks on free speech must not be tolerated”
said the IFJ Asia-Pacific.
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