The National Classifications Bureau (NCB) on Tuesday announced a ban on watching or bringing in copies of the controversial “Innocence of Muslims” movie to the Maldives.
The NCB is reported as saying that watching or sharing the movie is an offence under the law defining material which is not allowed to be brought into the country (Act No. 4/74). Such material includes other contraband such as pork, alcohol, and religious items not for personal use.
According to Article 4 (a) of the said Act, bringing into the country, creating, owning, selling, sharing or spreading material which is against the principles of Islam is an offence. The penalty for the said offense, as defined in Article 13 (c) is a jail sentence, banishment or house arrest for a period between 3 to 8 years.
Meanwhile, the Communications Authority of Maldives (CAM) has announced on Sunday that it is working to block the offending trailer from the online video sharing channel YouTube.
CAM Chief Executive Ilyas Ahmed said at the time that they were attempting to just block the video alone, instead of the site itself, as blocking YouTube was ‘not practical’.
Pakistan is reported in international media as having blocked access to YouTube in the country after the owners of the site refused to block the offending video.
Following similar protests across the globe, protesters in the Maldives gathered in front of the UN Building on Friday September 14. Protesters carried placards with messages ranging from “Maldives: future graveyard to Americans and Jews” to “May Allah curse America”.