Independent TV Station Attacked and Vandalised

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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