K. Male' | Zunana Zalif | 29-August-2018 | Wednesday 17:18 | zunana | Local | 538
Maldives Broadcasting Commission (MBC) has on Wednesday informed privately-run Television station RaajjeTV that their request to extend the deadline to pay up the MVR two million fine imposed on it by the commission, will not be granted.
RaajjeTV was fined by an exorbitant MVR two million (USD 130,000) on 08th August, the maximum amount allowed under the defamation bill, for broadcasting a live interview which the government-controlled MBC alleged to contain content that defames incumbent President Abdulla Yameen.
Following this, the station had re-opened it’s ‘Aburufulhu fund’ box on the 10th of August. The fund opening was inaugurated by opposition coalition’s Presidential candidate Ibrahim Mohamed Solih in front of the station’s office.
RaajjeTV management had on Sunday appealed at the commission to extend the deadline. However, the commission had not stated a reason as to why the deadline cannot be pushed back.
While this is the fourth such fine slapped on the station, Broadcom had given a deadline of 30 days to pay up the previous fines as well.
Following the letter, RaajjeTV’s Chief Operating Officer (COO) Hussain Fiyaz Moosa asserted that this proves “Broadcom is out to obstruct broadcasters in the Maldives”.
“It is the responsibility of the commission to work for the good of broadcasters. As such, pushing back a deadline is not an impossible task for Broadcom to grant. There will not be a difference even if they decide to grant our appeal to extend the deadline. We made the appeal due to difficulties in gathering up funds to pay up the hefty fine” said COO Fiyaz.
According to Fiyaz, the first fine which carried a bulky one million was also given a deadline of 30 days to pay up, and so was the fourth fine, an exorbitant two million.
RaajjeTV remains the station most targeted by the Broadcom under the controversial Anti-Defamation bill, with the fines totaling MVR 3.7 million already.
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