Police have confirmed they are investigating the alleged attempted assault of the editor of Progressive Party of the Maldives (PPM)-aligned news website, MV Youth.
Musharraf Hassan alleged he had received “death threats” from PPM Council Member Zahid Rameez for refusing to make him an administrator of a PPM fan page on Facebook.
Musharraf told Minivan News that Rameez and another individual came into the studio of Channel 13 – a local broadcaster also affiliated with the PPM – and demanded he give them control of the Facebook page that promoted PPM’s campaign and its presidential candidate, Abdulla Yameen.
Musharraf alleged the second individual was a person the police had previously identified as a “dangerous person” and a well known local gang member.
Minivan News understands that the Facebook page being contested is the ‘Progressive Party of Maldives’ page founded in September 2011, which at time of press had 6,113 people following it.
“It is a page that we formed as supporters of PPM. It was formed even before Mv Youth came into existence. The page has no official connection to PPM, but Rameez wanted the control of it. Even before the incident, they threatened me to give up the control before 8:00pm last night or I would be sliced into pieces,” he alleged.
Musharraf said he had conceded to the threats and given up control of the page. However, the case was shortly after reported to police. Rameez and the other individual had left the scene by the time the police arrived.
“Following the incident, there have been attempts made to defame Mv Youth in public. Rameez is spreading the word that we were demanding money for the page. But I can assure you, we demanded nothing from them, although they owe us money regarding other work we had done,” Musharraf told Minivan News.
Mv Youth meanwhile issued a statement calling on the authorities and the PPM to take action against the PPM council member.
“Mv Youth will not ground its operation based on threats it receives from a politician or any political party. We will remain determined in bringing truth to the public,” read the statement.
The alleged PPM Council Member Zahid Rameez was appointed to the party’s council as part of three appointees of Party President and former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, after he unsuccessfully contested the position of the party’s Youth League President, losing to current Deputy Minister of Transport Ibrahim Nazim.
A police media official confirmed to Minivan News that they were currently investigating a case of “attempted assault” concerning the Editor of Mv Youth.