Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF), in a letter to Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom President of the Republic of Maldives, expressed concerned over the court judgment on January 24 to fine two Raajje TV, journalists Leevaan Ali Nasir and Mohamed Wisam for ‘obstructing police officers’ during Reporting. And urges to lift charges against the TV’s cameraman Adam Zareer.
PPF Secretary General Owais Aslam Ali urged the government of Maldives, to withdraw all the charges against the journalists, conduct impartial investigation in the cases of Wisam, Nasir and Zareer as to ensure press freedom in Maldives.
According to International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), a court in the capital Malé in December 2016 convicted the two journalists of obstructing police, Wisam and Nasir; both were fined MVR 28,800 (approximately USD 1,870) each by the criminal court.
The court, which had found them blameworthy, didn’t enforce four-month detention because they were first-time offenders, prosecutors requested. The fine is to be paid within a month.
Wisam and Leevaan were arrested on November 2, 2015, along with Raajje TV’s chief operating officer, Hussain Fiyaz Moosa, during reporting of Male’s bomb scares. Later Moosa’s charges were dropped.
Wisam, also face same allegation under second court along with TV’s cameraman Zareer, while covering a protest in March, 2015. The decision is expected on February 27, 2017.