K. Male' | Aishath Shaany | 15-March-2017 | Wednesday 16:27 | Shaaknee | Local |
A group of Sri Lankan media and civil society organizations have called for Maldivian authorities to ensure the safety of the media.
In a statement issued on Tuesday, nine media and civil society organizations “strongly” condemned “the rising wave of threats” against journalists in the Maldives.
They- AFRIEL (Association for Peace and Love), Groundviews, Maatram, Rights Now Collective for Democracy, South Asia Women in Media-Sri Lanka, Transparency International Sri Lanka, Women and Media Collective, Vikalpa and Young Journalists Association- called on authorities “to take all necessary steps to guarantee the safety of the media.”
The group further urged the Maldivian government to “provide the environment to carry out their duties unhindered and without fear.”
The statement noted that recent reports from the country have shown a rise of intimidation towards the media, especially those covering the reported sale of an entire atoll- Faafu Atoll- to Saudi Arabia.
It noted that RaajjeTV was threatened over its reportage, and journalists from Maldives Independent were forced to seek police protection while reporting from Faafu Atoll.
RaajjeTV has filed the case at Maldives Police Service (MPS), who is yet to make any arrests over the matter.
“These incidents do not bode well for functioning of free media and democratic principles in the Maldives, especially as the lands prepare for crucial elections next year,” reads their statement.
It is common for those in the media to receive threats. Will Jordan, producer of Al Jazeera's exposé on the Maldives- Stealing Paradise- had received death threats, via twitter, as well. Perpetrators of such crimes are yet to be brought to justice, including those who broke into RaajjeTV's main studio, and set it ablaze in October 2013.
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