May 01, 2018
Cadres of a political party offered money to a local gang to stab Raajje TV’s Chief Operation Officer Hussain Fiyaz Moosa in March 2018, Maldives’ opposition-aligned station claimed.
The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has expressed serious concerns over the incident and demanded a fair investigation by the police into the claim, and urgent action to ensure police protection to the media staff.
Raajje TV on April 26 cited credible information claiming that people connected to a political party offered MVR140,000 (USD9,000) to a local gang in the presence of two politicians to physically harm Moosa. The station said that it was one of the lowest, scariest, most dangerous and un-Islamic acts carried out by anyone to undermine the station.
A statement by Rajje TV read: “Raajje TV has learned that a member of a local gang was taken to an office and offered money to stab Fiyaz. When he was offered this, two very well-known politicians were present. We believe that politicians are brazenly behind plans to carry out such acts of terrorism and finance them because they believe they are above the law.”
Raajje TV didn’t name the political party, the politicians or the gang involved due to fears of an escalation of threat. It also said that police denied registering a case and had not responded to the application for the police protection.
The opposition-aligned Raajje TV has been a target of attack, threats and fines due to its content, and the journalists employed have been subjected to harassment and arrest in the past. The station survived an arson attack in 2013 whereas many journalists associated with it have faced arrests, intimidation and criminal charges.
The IFJ said: “The IFJ expresses serious concern over this disturbing incident and demands urgent police protection to senior staff of Raajje TV and demand a swift investigation into the claim to establish facts. Maldives has gone on a downward slide in press freedom and incidents like these, if unchecked, will put critical voices and democracy itself a danger.” – IFJ media release
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