Adeeb denies connection with former Raajje TV journalist Asward

Tourism minister Ahmed Adeeb has rejected suggestions that he was linked to the recent resignation of Raajje TV journalist and Deputy CEO Ibrahim ‘Asward’ Waheed.

Raajje TV itself tweeted from its official account that Asward had left the channel after it emerged that he was working to establish a media channel with a senior member of the incumbent government.

After rumours on social media suggested Adeeb was the politician in question, he tweeted in response.

Asward – who came close to death following brutal attack in February 2013 – maintains that he left the channel due to its “deviation from the original objective”.

Despite being regarded as as aligned with the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), Raajje TV’s Senior Advisor and former MDP MP for Velidhoo Constituency Yameen Rasheed recently defected to the ruling Progressive Party of Maldives.


Maldives media debate unfolds on Twitter: Committee to Protect Journalists

“It started at 6:34pm on Monday. Abdulla Riyaz (@riyazabdulla), whose Twitter bio describes him as commissioner of the Maldives Police Service (MPS), published the following on his personal account: ‘MPS decides NOT to cooperate to Raajje TV [sic]. A statement will be released today’,” writes Madeline Earp, the Committee to Protect Journalists’ (CPJ’s) Senior Asia Research Associate.

“Raajje TV, for those not following CPJ’s Maldives coverage, is aligned with the political opposition.  The station’s journalists cite a pattern of police harassment following what they describe as a military coup in February, which forced Maldivian Democracy Party (MDP) founder Mohamed Nasheed from the presidency.

MDP activists have vowed to hold street protests until Nasheed’s successor, Mohamed Waheed Hassan, calls presidential elections. Hassan’s government says Nasheed resigned, and the MDP’s violent demonstrations make the country too unstable to call a vote this year. They say Raajje TV journalists are on the streets as activists, not as objective observers.

What does it mean for police to deny cooperation to a news outlet?  Police spokesman Hassan Haneef told CPJ by telephone he would respond to emailed questions, and we’ll share his comments as soon as we get them. In the meantime, the debate about possible interpretations is playing out online. ”

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RaajjeTV condemns newly formed PPM for barring journalist from press conference

Private broadcasting television RaajjeTV has condemned the newly formed Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM), led by former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, after senior officials of the party denied entrance to  a journalist from RaajjeTV to a press conference held by the party yesterday.

In a statement, RaajjeTV said that the action of PPM senior officials was undemocratic and uncivilised, and claimed that the PPM has boycotted the TV channel.

‘’To date, Raajje TV was never invited to any event organised by PPM, and has constantly refused to provide any information to us,’’ the statement said. ‘’It is questionable whether a party formed for the benefit of the citizens would do something that would destroy democracy while it is still in its infant stage.’’

RaajjeTV said that it would try to bring “true news” to the citizens of the Maldives, despite the situation.

The TV channel also called on the former President and his family to share information to the media equally and to be consistent in its words and deeds.

MP Ahmed Nihan, who is the current Media Coordinator of PPM, today told Minivan News that he knew about the incident last night and said that it was regrettable.

‘’We do not have any issues with the TV channel, but there might be some individuals in the party that have issues with it,’’ Nihan said. ‘’We have not made any decision to boycott RaajjeTV.’’

Nihan said he personally had given two live interviews to RaajjeTV and has been sharing information equally.

‘’We give very high priority to the media because it is the fourth pillar of democracy,’’ he said adding that the reports broadcasted on RaajjeTV were “usually against former President Gayoom”.

‘’Although they air such reports, we do not have any issue with that as long as they keep to the laws,’’ Nihan said.

Spokesperson of PPM Ahmed Mahlouf did not respond to Minivan News at time of press.