Minivan News journalist among RSF’s 100 information heroes

Minivan News journalist Mariyath Mohamed has been named an “Information Hero” by Reporters Without Borders (RSF) on the occasion of World Press Freedom Day (May 3).

The 100 information heroes “are a source of inspiration to all men and women who aspire to freedom. Without their determination and the determination of all those like them, it would be simply impossible to extend the domain of freedom,” said RSF’s Secretary General Christophe Deloire.

The RSF commends Mariyath’s coverage of the growing influence of radical Islamist groups in the Maldives in the aftermath of the controversial transfer of power in February 2012.

“I feel both honoured and humbled to receive recognition of this scale. My intention has always been to bring controversial issues to the notice of the world, and prompt discussions on the issues both locally and globally. Due to the nature of the topics, there is often as much opposition, and threats, as support. I believe we cannot make a difference unless more of us take up the challenge and speak out,” Mariyath said.

During the first five months of 2013, she was constantly followed, threatened and attacked – on one occasion by men with a steel bar.

“Your sister has hanged herself and we can help you to do the same,” an anonymous letter slipped under her door in early 2013 read.

Mariyath’s coverage of a 15- year old rape victim who was sentenced to 100 lashes shocked the international community led to the sentence being rescinded.

The list of 100 information heroes comprises women and men of all ages (25 to 75) and 65 nations.

“This initiative aims to show that the fight for freedom of information requires not only active support for the victims of abuses but also the promotion of those who can serve as models,” the RSF said.

The list includes varied figures such as Anabel Hernandez, the author of a bestseller on the collusion between Mexican politicians and organized crime, Ismail Saymaz, a Turkish journalist who has been prosecuted a number of times for his reporting, and Gerard Ryle, the head of International Consortium of Investigative Journalists for contribution to the emergence of global investigative journalism.

Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras, US citizens who were responsible for revealing the mass electronic surveillance methods used by the US and British intelligence agencies are also named.

In recent years, Maldivian journalists have come under growing threat with two journalists surviving murder attempts in 2013 and 2012.

In February 2013, opposition aligned broadcaster Raajje TV reporter Ibrahim ‘Asward’ Waheed was nearly beaten to death, whilst the station’s offices and equipment were destroyed in an arson attack in October.

In June 2012, two men slashed freelance journalist and blogger Ismail ‘Hilath’ Rasheed’s throat with a box cutter. Hilath is currently seeking political asylum abroad.

The RSF has ranked Maldives 108 on its World Press Freedom Index in 2014, marking a decline in press freedom for the third consecutive year. Fiji, at 107, experienced a coup in 2006, and the Central African Republic, at 109, is in the midst of a civil war following a coup in 2013.


17 thoughts on “Minivan News journalist among RSF’s 100 information heroes”

  1. Nobody in Maldives know about this women and where she has been a news reporter.

  2. Ekaloa check out this link so that you may be educated.

  3. It's great that RSF is recognizing the work of journalists who risk their lives to report the truth. Journalists like Mariyath live under threat of death from groups that oppose them, as we have seen from the murder attempts of Asward and Hilath Rasheed. If anything "information hero" is an understatement.

  4. Suffice to say that this is more of an award for a certain ideology or a world view than to a person

    So there is tip on how to be recognized by the so called international 'community..

    Anti islam sells

  5. The best way to get these sort of awards is to hate muslims and to write things against Islam as this person does.

  6. Oh man, you should see the disgusting swillslatternery the imperialist swine are concocting about you in their little facebook groups about you, Mariyath!.

  7. I have to ask the commentators above, where exactly is this anti-Islam writings and hatred towards Muslims purported to come from Minivannews? Please explain how reporting about Maldivian society is supposed to be anti-Islam, and provide some links of the guilty articles with an explanation of why they are supposed to be anti-Islam. Thank you!

  8. Great to see Mariyath doing so well and being recognised. An inspiration to those seeking a voice in a climate of "whomever yells the loudest, gets elected". If religion is meant to bring peace, then why do your critics spray so much hatred? All you can do is spray back - in letters which form words which form sentences which form paragraphs which form pages and books and bookshelves and libraries. The truth is immortal when the pen is your sword. Keep calm and carry on, all your aspiring caliph's. Let the girl speak. A challenge to the Islamic fundamentalists: to write an entire sentence from the Quran in Dhivehi or even English. Most Maldivians can't do that, because they're automated robots who do what they are told without understanding what the word of Allah says, means or how to interpret it. Principle of Consultation, anyone? What's that about!! Ask your Imam, he'd know what it is, and why most Imam's don't want you to know about it. Inshallah. Well done Mariyath. Keep on being Supreme!!

  9. @ Rihaakuru.
    Cant you see the comments published in minivan news everyday? Its worse than the anti islam blogs in the internet. Everyday minivan news sanctioned comments mock Allah, the prophet and muslims. These are never moderated or removed.
    It is very easy to assume that those working in this website are the ones writing some those comments.
    And about their news articles, all the coverage is biased and slanted. If any thing happens in Maldives which involves a religious person that news will always be given special attention and is presented in a way to blame every single person practicing religion.
    Those running this website has an inherent hatred to islam and muslims. We all know how they get their funding.

  10. @me r you a pimp for the hypocritical religious fascists,using religion for political gains,practice your religion yourself whichaway way you want, but don't impose your illogical and intolerant ideas on others

  11. @me, Commentators above accused Mariyath and Minivannews in general of being "anti_islam". Anonymous comments on the internet are irrelevant to that claim.

    On your second point: religion is given special attention in our society, and other major news websites will not report anything that paints the state or a preacher in a negative light because they fear a backlash. Look at the biggest news website in Maldives "" and their shameless pandering to whoever is in power.

    Minivannews plays an important role in reporting stories that other journalists won't, be it a story pertaining, in one way or the other, to religion or otherwise. If it means exposing extremist Muslims and their promotion of concubines and child marriage and female genital mutilations it's all the more important that Minivannews and other news organizations report these stories.

    That doesn't mean it's anti-Islam, it's actually the opposite because it's very pro-Islam to stand up for truth and justice. I don't know what religion you're following, but I think Mminivannews is doing Maldives and Islam a great service by exposing religious extremism in our country, which is something other news organizations won't touch. Muslims nation-wide should be commending their efforts instead of making mindless accusations.

    I repeat my request to provide links to any anti-Islamic articles published on this website, as per accusations above.

  12. @me when your country depends so much on tourism almost 40% of its gdp, you can't have intolerant Or xenophobic attitude towards others,or a superbloated egoistical superiority attitude

  13. "Minivannews plays an important role in reporting stories that other journalists won’t"
    What a joke. What minivan news does is translate articles published by other news websites. For example: The news about that 15 year old female sentenced for fornication (for which this marriyath person was given that award) was first published by Haveeru. They did follow up stories on that also. Whenever they publish a story, you people just translate it and put it in your website, at times without giving credit also.
    And about that concubine story you people were putting in your website. The police, human rights commission investigated that and it turned out to be just a hoax. But you people were going all crazy about it, blaming religion.
    And in your comment you have admitted that your mission is "exposing religious extrimists". So that is the reason you go hyper on any story in which their is the smallest possibility to bad mouth islam.
    And your reports are so biased and twisted it does nothing "to stand up for truth and justice."

  14. "Commentators above accused Mariyath and Minivannews in general of being “anti_islam”. Anonymous comments on the internet are irrelevant to that claim."

    I wasnt talking about anonymous comments appearing on the internet. I was talking about the comments minivan news publish in their website, which is worse than what appears in the worst islamophobic websites.
    According to law, the editor and those ruuning the newspaper has to take responsibility for whatever is published in their newspaper.

  15. me said, "And in your comment you have admitted that your mission is exposing religious extrimists."

    No, I did not say that.

    This is my exact quote, "I think Mminivannews is doing Maldives and Islam a great service by exposing religious extremism in our country, which is something other news organizations won’t touch.

    I just wanted to clear your misrepresentation of my views by lying about it. I will not engage you any further.

  16. Dear Mariyath,
    Congratulations and best wishes to you on the occasion of the international recognition and achievement for your contribution to journalism in the issues related to the Maldives. It is a great honor and privilege to be recognized as one of the 100 information heroes in the entire world.
    I wish you more and more success. Please keep up your outstanding work and continue your services to the country and world media.
    My support is always with you.
    Fuwad Thowfeek


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