“Anyone searching for #Maldives on Twitter over the last week, and expecting to see endless pictures of an idyllic desert island holiday, may have found themselves slightly perplexed by the seemingly random image of a machete lodged through a door,” writes Neil Merrett for the UK’s Independent newspaper.
“The door in question belongs to Minivan News, an independent online publication that has provided coverage of the country’s often painful transition from an autocratic theocracy to a democracy.
Minivian News journalists were then once again threatened with their lives via SMS. ‘You will be killed next,’ Minivan News’ current deputy editor was told.
The machete, pictured above, was a gift from suspected gang members on a self-proclaimed spiritual mission to “eliminate” suspected secularists, atheists and homosexuals. Conveniently, these labels are almost always attached to media outlets, NGOs, opposition politicians and bloggers.
What started with a machete through the door of the Minivan News office, soon escalated into arson threats being issued against the publication and Raajje TV. Police moved quickly to evacuate the offices of both media outlets, while providing them with ongoing protection.”