Opposition aligned broadcaster Raajje TV’s report criticizing the judiciary does not threaten national security, the Maldives Broadcasting Commission (MBC) has told Chief Justice Ahmed Faiz.
In October, the Supreme Court requested the MBC to investigate Raajje TV after it broadcast a report comparing the apex court to the the corrupt judges from Koranic city of Sodom.
The report, titled “Magey Report” (My report), especially highlighted the case of Supreme Court Judge Ali Hameed whose alleged appearance a sex-tape is currently under investigation. Ali Hameed is still a sitting judge on the Supreme Court bench.
“While you have mentioned in the letter referred here that “Magey Report” broadcasted on Rajje Tv in the evening of 19 October 2013 contained content that is a threat to national security, this commission did not notice any such content during our investigation” read the MBC’s letter sent on Thursday.
However, the commission ruled that the content of the report violated several codes of the Broadcasting Code of Practice. The commission has ordered Raajje TV not to broadcast the report again without amending it and has asked the station to broadcast an apology message.
According to the commission, Raajje TV had used language and references against socially accepted standards, broadcast content that could insult or reduce the sanctity, honor and dignity of a person or persons, and broadcast the report in a manner that could violate rights of children.
MBC noted the Supreme Court had asked for the investigation to be completed within ten days even though the Broadcasting Act allows a 60 day investigation period.
The Supreme Court had also ordered Maldives Police Service to investigate the report, in response to which MPS conducted a criminal investigation and sent the case to Prosecutor General’s Office late November.
During the investigation, the Channel’s Deputy CEO Yaameen Rasheed and News Head Ibrahim ‘Asward’ Waheed were summoned by the Police. Raajje TV has chosen to remain silent
The MBC requested the Supreme Court to repeal the court order, however the request was denied. Chief Justice Ahmed Faiz Hussain threatened to take action against “those who spread false information about judges without respecting the sanctity of the court” saying contempt of court will not be allowed.
Serious concerns about the Maldives judiciary have been raised by various International institutions and experts, including the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Independence of Judges and Lawyers Gabriela Knaul, International Commission of Jurists and the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay.