President condemns attacks on media

President Mohamed Nasheed has condemned the attacks against the media following attacks on DhiTV and Haveeru on 15 March.

The president said the government would not tolerate “threats or actions against freedom of the press”.

“The Maldivian media is free and open now,” Nasheed said, adding that the Maldivian government “will always support the efforts of the journalists to keep this freedom alive and will value their efforts.”

He urged the public to cooperate with police in identifying the suspects.

The Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) meanwhile called on the police to “seriously investigate” death threats made against journalists by extremist bloggers.

Concerns from the media

Independent MP and former Minister of Information, Mohamed Nasheed, said the issue was one of “political punching. People in the government are accusing opposition media and people in the opposition media are accusing the government.”

He said the media has always been divided into two camps, and sometimes looking at the same editorial content from different news agencies “you feel as if two different stories are coming out.”

“Political activists, the religious quarter and violent criminals” are against the media, he said, explaining that the struggle for press freedom was a “tug of war.”

“This is where the temperature needs to be brought down. We need to stop politicising the media and work with them.”

He added that “a democracy cannot see the media as a friend”, but should instead treat it as a medium to dialogue.

Managing Director of Miadhu, Abdullah Lateef, said “so far the government has not been able to give the media enough protection” from violent attacks.

He claimed the former government “used gangsters,” who “still don’t understand this is not Gayoom’s regime.”

“These gangsters don’t value the media,” Lateef said. “They think they can do anything; they attack anyone.”

He said that because the government had not shown the public the value of the media and the work the media was doing, they did not value it: “Even when we go to a scene, it is a risk we are taking.”

Lateef said he had “personally received a lot of threats”, and claimed that “politicians will call and try to make us scared.”

But he noted that “this government has done a lot for us, like giving us the freedom to write without being arrested. I am not afraid of my death – the former government gave me enough threats so I don’t mind.”

Public Concern

The Human Rights Commission Maldives (HRCM) has also “strongly condemned” the attacks on media.

A statement from the HRCM said the organisation “was sad that people are instigating fear among journalists at a time when Maldivian media is not very stable.”

HRCM said it believed the incidents had occurred because of the “judicial system’s reluctance to convict people. They are released into society and are not abiding by laws and regulations and respecting human rights.”

The statement notes that such cases of violence are “alarmingly increasing” and “the Commission is calling for the authorities to take legal action against the people who are releasing these criminals into society.”

“To stop these things from happening we are calling on stake-holders, government, authorities, media, civil society, NGOs and the public to work together.”

Meanwhile the Maldives Journalists’ Association (MJA) condemned threats made against journalists and bloggers and the “continuous attempts to intimidate press freedom by the extremists in the name of Islam.”

The MJA called on the government to take action against growing extremism and said it believed there would be a solution “if the president and all the institutions work to raise awareness.”


10 thoughts on “President condemns attacks on media”

  1. If Chika was behind the attack on the media personnel then Nasheed's government should be held responsible for it. Why in the world was Chika released when he was serving a jail sentence for a serious crime. According to State Minister Adil, Chika was not even placed under house arrest but sent home after he signed a paper saying that he would not leave his house.

    Lawlessness in the country has grown to such an extent that I feel that it is time for President Nasheed to resign and make way for a more capable leader.

  2. Who is behind the lawlessness today?. Big moneyed politicians from the old regime.

    Who is behind the impasse at parliament?. The old regime's remnants.

    I've played a 'government simulator' game, and time and time again, my attempts to create a unilateral, multiparty government has been foiled by petty infighting and base jealousy.

    The police, once so good at cornering dissidents against the old regime - are now a weak bunch of incompetents reduced to impounding vehicles for their salary... and even those brave ones in the police force who TRY their best to bring criminals to justice are humiliated by corrupt judges throwing out their hard-won cases, citing "sharia law" or "not enough evidence".

    I ask you; who is truly behind this current state of affairs?.

    Mohamed, you are doing exactly what they want you to - the greedy politicians will not care about the average Maldivian; as long as he gets his 5-star treatment. They are attempting to topple the first ever democratically elected president in the hopes of restoring the old regime, so that they can continue to siphon off funds as they want to, leaving us in poverty.

  3. chika wasnt in house arrest, he went to get a MRI scan o somthing as the police says. and anony your right, its the corrupt judges and greedy politicians.

  4. Tell me... which murderer or rapist will not sign a peice of paper promising to behave good if they will be sent home even for a few days. Why the hell do we have jails. Why don't we get the criminals to sign this and send them all home.

    If Adil is the one behind sending Chika home, then he needs to be fired immediately. This guy has become a big liability for MDP and major pain in the bum for the public.

  5. Statements and speeches are not what we want now and not what is needed to put an end to this violence! ACTION that will ensure that criminals get the punishment they deserve is what we want to see! History has shown that DRP-PA is useless and now what we are seeing is that MDP is also rather the question is who is out there who can actually make a difference and not just talk about it?!! As the ruling party MDP, surely its about time that you actually proved yourself instead of constantly blaming the past government! And if only there was an NGO or a civil rights group willing to organize a nation wide protest against violence, as they did for alcohol license issue. I guess every political party is protecting its own gang now, rather than the people of this country!

  6. Violence and lawlessness is more widespread than ever. WHat the hell is MDP government doing? The police seems to be completely useless. Nasheed condemned the attack. But what he didn't realize is that there are people in his government who operate above him. MDP government is becoming a big joke.

  7. President Nsheed is a true politician, he is just playing the game.He himself make things polarize and keep quite for some time and give something to international media, so DO Sappe and others will link that to Maldivies media. We are in 21st century, there are well educated youth in Maldives who can think and understand whats going on here. These events happened last week in Maldives, today only Sappe has linked something about this from international media. I dont understand whom they are trying to convince,that the government is sincere on this issue.

  8. Mr Nasheed and his MDP government is to be blamed for letting the criminals and gangsters take the wheel of this community.The police is useless,the judicial system is corrupted ,politicians are sleeping with the fat salary and the citizens are drowning in the violence created by politicians.


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