Reporters Without Borders condemns Raajje TV sabotage, “growing media polarisation”

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has condemned the sabotage of opposition-aligned broadcaster Raajje TV that terminated the station’s broadcast, after critical cables in the control room were cut.

“This targeted and well-prepared operation was the foreseeable culmination of the new government’s escalating verbal attacks on Raajje TV,” said RSF in a statement. “How the authorities respond will be seen as a test of their commitment to media pluralism.”

The press freedom organisation noted that the “growing media polarisation between ’pro-Nasheed’ and ’pro-Hassan’ camps has reached a toxic level and the right to receive and impart news and information is the first victim.”

“Many journalists have been arrested, attacked or threatened in recent months during demonstrations organized by Nasheed’s supporters to press their call for early elections. While appealing to all sides to calm down and reflect on the role they should play in a democratic debate, Reporters Without Borders condemns these repeated attacks on journalists by the authorities,” RSF stated.

“The government and police have played a leading role in the deterioration of the situation. Instead of trying to create a healthy environment that would assist the development of a free and pluralistic press, they have exacerbated the rivalry and used the media for political ends.”

RSF called on authorities “to moderate their criticism of Raajje TV, to ensure that the sabotage of the station is fully and impartially investigated, and to make sure that journalists are not subjected to further attacks. At the same time, we urge Raajje TV’s journalists to make a clear distinction between their political involvement and their professional work.”

Cables in Raajje TV’s control room were cut early on the morning of August 7, after intruders shut down electricity to the building causing the station’s electronic locking system to fail.

“We suspect that either the culprit knows this place very well, or that this was done with the cooperation from a person who knew the place very well,” said the station’s Deputy CEO, Abdulla Yamin.

Following the incident, Commissioner of Police Abdulla Riyaz on twitter “[Condemned] the attack on Raajje TV. All resources will be used to investigate to find the perpetrator(s).”

Meanwhile, police also told local media that they would reconsider a decision not to cooperate with the station’s reporters, including denying them access to secure areas during protests, after urging from the Maldives Broadcasting Commission.

The Maldives is ranked 73rd out of 179 countries in the 2011-2012 Reporters Without Borders press freedom index, which was released before February’s events.

“The media situation has deteriorated dramatically since then,” the organisation observed.


12 thoughts on “Reporters Without Borders condemns Raajje TV sabotage, “growing media polarisation””

  1. Kutti Nasheed, who will comment here as tsk tsk very soon, is critical to this story. What he will say will also be very revealing to what REALLY happened.

  2. I am glad RSF has seen the truth the time.. First Police open threatens Raajje TV, then they say they cannot protect Raajje TV, Police is backed by lawyer and MP Kutti Nasheed who was a previous media and information minister aligned to Dictator Gayoom, and hell bent on destroying the country so that his 'sins' in messing up the media landscape of the country may not be revealed... and lo an behold the cables are cut.

  3. Kutti Nasheed did much for media freedom than any other, at least on the bagee side. Programs like siyaasath and other constructive debates on prior 2008 election was the critical to revealing the incompetence of Gayoom to a new group of people. He challenge Gayoom inside the cabinet to allow privet broadcaster. He allowed all pending print media registration on the day he became minister. This included minivan daily. As info Minister he attended to every journalist that has been arrested in line of work. He reformed TVM and brought quality, which is dearly missed now. News became not something read on a paper. He opened atoll media centers and started broadcasting news live from Kulhudhufushi. In 3 years of MNBC. all that stopped. So kutti is not a person who did nothing 2 this country.

  4. Kutti was just happened to be there. Simla Mohamed Didi would have done the same if he was minister.. when your **se is on fire from the pressure of international monitors... he did what ever he did because he was forced not through good intention.. unfortunately he is out of date for these times.. too much vitriolic and phlegm every time he opens his mouth

  5. Charles Darwin is mad. What is your obsession with Kutti Nasheed ? You seem to be paranoid, expecting comments from Nasheed and talking to yourself.

  6. Kutti Nasheed who is tsk tsk?

    Seriously. How many times do I have to make this point. Most MPs rarely have the time to read the news let alone comment on it online.

    Like I have said a million times. Not one MP except for Hamid Abdul Ghafoor would be found on comment forums. The others are too busy expressing their opinions on live television or through their newfangled cell phone-links with twitter.

    Might as well claim I'm Qayyoom. Or GP Selvam for that matter.

  7. Oh.. the Lawyer has spoken. Or is the MP? or the former Gayoom loyalist and Information Minister...? Common out of your closet you sissy!

  8. LOL/Charles

    I am here my love! you have been talking about me!! im here!! finally

  9. hehe, classic! beautiful

    vara loabhe Chrales love Kutti

    Kutti loves Charles



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