The state broadcaster has taken disciplinary action against a well-known news editor who accused the criminal court of “abduction” last month during the trial of ex-president Mohamed Nasheed.
The Maldives Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) on March 15 transferred Mohamed Afsal from covering trials and legal affairs to working on the website, according to Haveeru.
Afsal had previously presented the “Raajje Miadhu” programme on Television Maldives and hosted special programmes.
The local daily reported that the transfer was prompted by the incident at court on the night former President Mohamed Nasheed was convicted.
On March 13, trial observers and journalists were held for nearly two hours inside the building after the initial hearing, as judges deliberated on a verdict. They were not allowed to use their phones or communicate with reporters gathered outside.
Afsal asked to be allowed to leave, as did Misbah Abbas from CNM and Muizz Ibrahim from Avas, but court officials refused to allow the three outside or inside the courtroom for the verdict. The three were held in the waiting area until the verdict was delivered.
The journalists accused the criminal court of kidnapping and terrorism and filed a complaint with police and the Human Rights Commission.
However, police dismissed the case, saying they had no jurisdiction to investigate it.
The Maldivian Democratic Party condemned the state broadcaster’s move today, characterising it as an attack on press freedom.