False allegations against government “a criminal offence”: President’s Office

Press Secretary Mohamed Zuhair has contended that “spreading baseless and demonstrably false claims” about the government is a “criminal offence”, warning that the government would take measures against such claims.

Speaking at the press conference on Wednesday, Zuhair said that government has been tolerating the false allegations from the opposition targeting the government and President Mohamed Nasheed.

However, Zuhair claimed that it was “serious crime to spread baseless and demonstrably false claims”, adding that “we will not hesitate to take actions against anyone who commits the offence.”

Zuhair’s remarks came following the cases forwarded to the police by President Nasheed, requesting an investigation into claims by DQP council members ‘Sandhaanu’ Ahmed Didi and Dr Mohamed Jameel Ahmed on DhiTV Sunday night, that the government was “plotting against religious scholars under Jewish guidance” and that it was “working under the influence of Christian priests.”

“Why is it that they have made an office for David Hardingham called ‘Honorary Cousel of the Maldives’?” Ahmed Didi asked appearing on DhiTV Sunday night. “What would a temple priest do? They are running an office for him on our state’s expense. Nasheed has been well hooked. He’s been caught good. He can’t back down.”

Nasheed has been “trying to spread irreligious practices and principles in this country” before he was elected and immediately thereafter, Didi alleged.

He claimed Nasheed has called prominent religious scholars such as Sheikh Ilyas Hussein, Adhaalath party scholars council president, “a terrorist”.

Senior government officials were meanwhile offered “large amounts of money” during foreign visits to introduce freedom of religion in the Maldives. Human Rights Ambassador Mohamed “Go Go” Latheef was made such an offer by “famous American Christians and Jews” but refused, Didi claimed.

However after Nasheed’s visit to England “he could not refuse any of their proposals because he was much too deep in it.”

Meanwhile, Zuhair today dismissed the opposition’s claims.

He insisted that accusing the government of being influenced by “foreign priests” is a serious lie, which has been repeated since Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) came to power in 2008.

Zuhair also condemned the recent press statement from former coalition partner and now minority opposition Dhivehi Qaumee Party (DQP), in which the party accused President Nasheed of spreading lies about the existence of extremists in Maldives.

Referring to the media outlets which reports the allegations, the Press Sercretary said that measures will be taken against anyone who “participates in the criminal offence” of spreading false claims.

According to Zuhair, reporting the demonstrably false allegations of foreign religious influence was a “violation of journalism ethics” and the press secretary urged media to refrain from reporting them.

Head of the Maldives Journalist Association (MJA) Ahmed ‘Hiriga’ Zahir meanwhile said opinions were subjective and it was not the responsibility of the journalist to authenticate claims made by opposition groups or the government.

“Threatening” the media was not conducive to freedom of expression, he said.


26 thoughts on “False allegations against government “a criminal offence”: President’s Office”

  1. No matter what you do people will stand up against the government of President Nasheed who has proven to be an irresponsible president and a liar.

  2. I noticed that we in the Maldives suffer from corruption denial complex. We like to hold on the belief that our dear leader is not corrupt and everyone around him is corrupt. It was the prevailing view when Maumoon was our leader; Ilyaas, Yameen and Adam Zahir were the corrupt ones. Similarly, Razi, Moosa, etc. are the corrupt souls. I myself suffer from this complex. I believe that our dear leader does not need a Speedboat or Hulhu-Male Bridge, If he wanted to he can walk to the Airport from Malé. All this, changing of the chairman, agreeing to charge people of Maldives (25 mil per year), agreeing to fuel, landing, hikes, coercing the dear leader to be 200% behind the agreement had nothing to do with our dear leader. It is the work of a black magic Sherman.

  3. The Government should use reverse psychology to silence this type of pyromaniacs, like Sandan Didi and Jameel. These two guys are natural pyromaniacs, anyone can analysis their history and there is no doubt these two guys are maniacs. Punishing them will not solve the issue,

  4. Of course the government and the military have the power to seize and detain journalists or close down media outlets.

    However legally speaking, Hiriga is right. The media reports what people say. As long as the source had actually said it, there is no reason why the media should be blamed for reporting it.

    On to the opposition politicians and their claims. Nasheed has every right to sue them for defamation. However their claims do not threaten the functioning of the Maldivian government or pose any real threat to national security.

    Therefore their crimes are not against the government but against President Nasheed as an individual. Why just yesterday I heard an opposition activist from the Republican Party call Barack Obama a communist on an American TV Channel.

    Obama is yet to declare that statement a crime against the State.

  5. False written statements are libel. False spoken statements are slander.

    Neither slander nor libel can be criminally prosecuted in the Maldives. However, other avenues of addressing the issue are not open. The most one can claim in a civil case is $350 or so USD. The lawyer will cost more than 10 times that amount.

    The accusations made are akin to calling the President of the United States a devil worshiper and an advocate of slavery - or something along those lines. If it was believed, it would be damaging to Obama, the same way these accusations would be to the President.

    These are baseless, politically motivated nonsense only geared towards trying rile people up against the government. It is criminal only in how detrimental it is to the future of this nation, not in law.

    What we should do is firm up the legal codes, the laws on slander and libel regarding civil suits, and those who make claims that cannot be proved should be forced to pay for those baseless accusations.

    It will keep people honest while also ensuring that we don't regress back into Gayoom's time or some new theocratic era of repression.

  6. More proof of the Jewish invaders of whom many comment on this 100% muslim website.

    Anyways, more importantly, Hawwa Lubna, were you with a legal male guardian while writing this artice? If you weren't, I fear the Jews have brainwashed you! Fear Allah SWT, my dear Hawwa Lubna!

  7. It is called libel and it is illegal everywhere else in the world to make false accusations. Zuhair is right.

  8. Reminding them their own ethics are given out as "threats", beneficial lease agreements become "selling state assets", monuments are depicted as statues of the Budhdha, there is a common thread here. Mr. Zahir, and many of his colleagues do know about libel and defamation of character..but being reminded of that becomes a "threat"...they, in cluding Mr Zahir, Sandhaanu Didi, Dr. J, Dr. S, all share one adjective with Mr. Gayoom, and the era he represented. That is the word "Former". Tks..

  9. "...and the press secretary urged media to refrain from reporting them."

    The press secretary did not URGE the media, but THREATENED it! And later on the he started picking on one particular reporter - needless to say who.

  10. where is freedom of speech Mr President? You turned out to be worse than Gayoom. Hail dictator Nasheed!

  11. Sometimes I question myself what is really the mandate of a press secretary. This guy Zuhair acts as if he press release are of his own.

    Mr press secretary all i can say to you is HEP, U , Ministers or any individual person, He is innocent until proven guilty. Are trying reverse this?

  12. @ Hameed (moa moa): How exactly do you plan on standing against president Nasheed? By words? Lol. Keep dreaming. There is no better candidate at this very moment who could beat President Nasheed in any way.

    Keep dreaming!

  13. Imran the Jew sucker is spreading lies. You can't spread lies in a Muslim society so its against law to break teachings of Islam. What ever you speak should be proven.

  14. Who is this crazy Sheikh Imran Abdullah guy commenting stupidly on every article ? Is he crazy or just pretending to be crazy ?

  15. But government officials have every right to label thousands of Maldivians as terrorists. Its a one way street if you are literate enough to read the signs.

  16. Mr. Press Secretary. Do you have any idea of the type of Drinks that may be served in the back yard of Alivaage?. Ofcourse, its water, milk and honey.

  17. It is not respectful to denigrate any human being and in countries where the law is taken seriously, where the courts are independent, where manipulation of the judiciary cannot take place, people despite their political position have the right to go to court and defend themselves. That works both ways. Mr. President can take people to court and so people can take him as well. Any other positions is abuse of power.

  18. Dear readers of the Minivan News. here is an article about the French Preident. As you can see times chenge. Will them change for maldives as well? Will we ever see this in the Maldives?

    by PRESS TV http://www.presstv.ir/detail/215829.html

    France's Chirac receives jail term
    Thu Dec 15, 2011 11:24AM GMT
    Former French President Jacques Chirac
    A court in France has handed former French President Jacques Chirac a two-year suspended prison sentence after finding him guilty of embezzlement and misuse of public funds.
    Chirac was tried on Thursday over a party-financing scandal during his 1977-1995 tenure as Paris mayor, AFP reported.
    Chirac, who did not attend the trial due to doctors' recommendations, denied the charges.
    The 79-year-old former president, who ruled the country from 1995 until 2007, was accused of a scheme that faked paid jobs. The salaries were then used to finance his conservative party.
    The country's current foreign minister, Alain Juppe, was convicted in the same case in 2004, but has since returned to public life, and is a key ally of President Nicolas Sarkozy.
    This is the first conviction of a head of state in France since 1945 when Marshal Philippe Petain was found guilty of collaborating with the Nazis.

  19. 2012 Royal honors granted to criminals

    Thu Jan 5, 2012 11:32AM GMT

    The British society would begin 2012 with fraudsters, family members of convicted murderers and scandalous political donors walking the streets with royal honors.

    Queen Elizabeth II's list of honors for the 2012 New Years featured several people widely known among people for their misdemeanor.

    Paul Ruddock was knighted for his services to the arts as a Medieval art expert but eye were turned away from his questionable earning of more than £100 million from the collapse of Northern Rock Bank through “short selling”.

    He was joined with Gerald Ronson, the multimillionaire who was given one year in prison over a share trading scandal back in 1990.

    Ronson was charged with creating a false market, false accounting and thievery and had to pay £5 million in fine but nevertheless the Queen decorated him with the title of the Commander of the Order of the Most Excellent British Empire (CBE).

    The same title was granted to Denise Coates who has done nothing to the British society except raking in enough money to rank the eighth woman in the Sunday Times Rich List.

    Denise, who is the daughter of Peter Coates, owner of the Stoke City football club, has made a fortune by running an online gambling company.

    The Queen also honored Christopher Preddie, a cousin of the two brothers who were convicted of murdering schoolboy Damilola Taylor in 2000.

    Preddie, who has a record of involvement in the gangs and drugs trafficking, is now an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE).

    The scandalous decoration does not end at that as almost one third of all honors went to bankers and businessmen this year while such decorations were rare in the past.

    One was Rod Aldridge who was knighted after he was forced to resign in 2006 over a secret £1 million contribution to the Labour party.

    He got the peerage while he had spent the fortune at the time in a “cash for peerage” attempt.


  20. Common Sense,

    He is me, apparently.

    Also, an obvious troll. I don't know why more people don't see it.

  21. Sandhaanu Ahanmaidhee and Matheen are imprisoned in Dhoonidhoo jail. This government came into power promising not punish politicians. What do you call these people. These are political prisoners. Where is Amnesty International? Where is there concern??

  22. Did red crescent take any action on the subject? Did UN take any action on the subject? What are they for?

  23. False allegation against the government is no more than an offence (criminal or civil) than it is against an individual or a body including the government.

    There is no particular crime or offence against the government which is not against others. Defamation is as much an offence against the person as it is against the government. The government could rely on this offence against those who take to defaming the government. Well if a person or the media attempts to overthrow the government it is a different offence and persons committing the offence should be held liable for the act.

    The freedom of expression does not give the media the right to violate the right of another to a peaceful life without interference of any sort be it baseless criticism or defamation.


Comments are closed.