Raajje Television has said that the Maldives Broadcasting Commission (MBC) is preparing to impose another hefty fine on it, this time with the purpose of hindering its coverage of this year's presidential elections.
In a statement released on Wednesday, the station said that it has learnt that the Commission is looking into a statement made by a political activist during a live coverage of an opposition demonstration on March 16. The investigation, initiated by the Commission itself, accused RaajjeTV of airing content that defamed incumbent President Abdulla Yameen and threated national security.
Noting that it has, on multiple occasions, requested to provide details of the accusations against the station, RaajjeTV said that the Commission "has failed to do so".
Citing a Commission member, the statement noted that "some" members are working "restlessly" to impose a hefty fine on the station.
The anonymous member said that these officials are "overlooking" the required procedures so as to make the station suffer.
Within the past year, RaajjeTV was fined a total of MVR 1.7 million, on three separate occasions, under the controversial Anti-Defamation Law. The bill passed in 2016 had come under criticism, both locally and internationally.
Noting that there is proof that these fines were imposed "against the Constitution and country's laws", RaajjeTV further noted that the "road to justice has been blocked as well".
While the station has filed appeals- in all three cases- at the Civil Court, RaajjeTV said that the fact that these cases have been halted since "gives further strength to Maldives Broadcasting Commission's various injustices".
In addition, RaajjeTV expressed concern over the Parliament's failure in holding the Commission responsible, despite how clear it is that these are direct attacks on the station by those that are being influenced by a third party.