Maldives Broadcasting Commission (MBC), who last month fined private broadcaster RaajjeTV MVR two million for allegedly airing content that defames President Abdulla Yameen and threatens national security, has told the station to pay the fine at Maldives Inland Revenue Authority (MIRA).
The Commission, via writing, informed the station that the fine should be paid to MIRA and that the payment receipt should be submitted to them.
The deadline to pay the fine is September 9.
MBC, on August 8, fined RaajjeTV MVR two million over a live interview of a prominent lawmaker on March 16, days before the state of emergency was lifted.
While this is the fourth time the station has been fined under the Anti-Defamation and Freedom of Expression Act since implementation in 2016, this is the first time it has been told to make the payment at MIRA; the fine was paid at MBC the previous times.
As per law, the fine has to be paid within 30 days and an appeal can only be made after doing so. Failure to pay the fine within the given period could result in the station losing its broadcasting license.
RaajjeTV described the fine as a 'calculated and well-coordinated attack to obstruct its efforts to make President Yameen’s government accountable' ahead of the September polls.
It further accused the Commission of 'putting in its best efforts to restrict press freedom and the freedom of speech by encouraging tyranny and injustice within state mechanisms'.