PPF condemns fine imposed on opposition aligned Raajje TV

Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF) raised concerns over the fine imposed on opposition aligned broadcaster Raajje TV, on August 8.

PPF Secretary General Owais Aslam Ali in his letter to Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom, President of Maldives on August 10, 2018, demands immediate withdrawal of the fine against Raajje TV and urges authorities to stop targeting broadcasters and respect press freedom.

According to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), The Maldives Broadcasting Commission (MBC) has imposed MVR two million (USD 130,000) on Raajje TV for broadcasting a politician’s speech from an opposition protest that was considered to be derogatory towards President Abdulla Yameen and a threat to national security.

Since March 2017 this is the fourth time that MBC has imposed a fine on the channel and this is the largest fine imposed under the Maldives Defamation Act for its content during an opposition protest.

In a statement Raajje TV said, the fine imposed did not have any legal basis. The previous fines calculated to be 1.7 million MVR (USD 110,408) and the requests are still pending. After payment of fine the station can appeal.