A group of journalists has filed a petition against Adam "Mundoo" Haleem, the Chief Editor of Avas Online following serious accusations of sexual assault and misconduct.
The petition, signed by 73 journalists from 19 media outlets, was submitted to the Ministry of Home Affairs, Maldives Police Service (MPS), President’s Office and the Ministry of Gender, Family and Social Services.
The award-winning Avas Online editor came under fire after alleged victims flooded social media with accusations of sexual misconduct in the work place against a number of female employees, continually.
An ex-staff member who joined Avas for their excellent content to pursue her dream as a journalist, wrote on Twitter that she wanted to prove Haleem, who “degraded women saying women can’t lead and have no work ethic and how they always get absent to work”, wrong.
The petition stressed the issue of concern how Haleem is accused of sexual misconduct against more than one employee, as someone filling a “reliable and senior” position at a media outlet.
The journalists that signed the petition stated that the case will churn fear in the hearts of young and aspiring journalists and those who wish to thrive in the field, especially women.
Such actions will trigger distrust and lead the public to question the integrity of the industry.
In light of this, the journalists urged authorities to ensure a safe working environment for female employees in workplaces.
Serious allegations of sexual misconduct have been pinned against Haleem at a time he had also come under fire after a video depicting him assaulting a staff in VTV during his time working there, went viral on social media.
The petition calls on authorities to serve justice for perpetrators in cases of sexual assault, going on to urge authorities to consider withdrawing awards which were conferred to figures who have been accused of misconduct. Haleem in 2010, won the National Award in Journalism followed by a Golden Pen Award in Journalism during 2018.
Further, it called on relevant institutions to establish a policy that bars individuals accused of misconduct from winning such awards in the future and withdraw awards and titles of honor won by individuals, if they are accused of misconduct.
This, the group of journalists said, is paramount to ensuring the integrity of journalism and public faith in the field and is vital to encourage women aspiring to reach high in journalism, to enter the field and proceed without fear of their rights being soiled.
RaajjeMV was unable to attain a comment from the accused, as he had failed to answer the station’s calls at the time of publishing.