Report about Journalism in Maldives

2021-06-17 19:39:58
6 pages
1379 words
University/College: 
George Washington University
Type of paper: 
Report
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Maldives is a nation in the Asian continent. It is neighbored by India and Sir Lanka. It consists of 1192 islands in the Indian Ocean. She is also a member of the United Nations Human Rights Council. The nation has been growing potentially but has largely been affected by the political crisis. This has been occurring due to the power separation in the governance of this nation. Therefore, the political crisis has led to increased attacks and sanction of some sensitive fields such as research professions, journalism being one of them. Although many of the journalists have been fighting day and nights to uphold their skills in the profession, their government has not been there to support them, and hence many of the journalists do not enjoy their freedom of expression. Those who contradict the law are brought under severe prosecution, fines, and long-term imprisonment. Others go missing without the participation of the government in recovering them. It is also stated clearly that before the reporters publish their news, it must go through The National Bureau of Classifications. This shows how the freedom of these reporters and journalists is curtailed.

It is true that reporters and journalists in Maldives are faced with a lot of challenges in their profession. They have been faced with harsh treatment by both the government and the citizens in the political parties at large. This harsh treatment involves death threats. For instance, death threats have been severely experienced by several journalists from the islands of Niladhoo and Faafu Atoll. As a solution to these problems, these journalists and reporters have formed several organizations and movements to fight for their rights and freedom of expression. They include Maldives Journalists Association (MJA) and International Federation of Journalists. These associations have made efforts to initiate the Maldivian government to ensure the safety of the journalists by investigating the death threats so as to bring the involved into the law. Furthermore, death threats were also passed to Raajje Television staff through phone calls (Junayed, 2016)

Free speech has been at a high risk in Maldives after the country passed the defamation law through the adoption of a new democratic constitution under President Yameen. Journalists in Maldives have faced a lot of injustices and risks in their reports. Reporters such as Adam Zareer, Ali Naseer, and Mohamed Wisan have been prosecuted severally for violating this law. The law has further caused lack of justice to all the crimes committed against the journalists and the media at large. This includes the disappearance of several journalists whereby no follow ups are made by the government to recover them. Furthermore, journalists such as Adam and others claim to have been arrested multiple times due to talking the truth about the government, which their government refers to as violating the defamation law. Also, the law was enforced with huge fines and long-term imprisonment as the consequences of violating it. This has acted as a barrier to the journalists and the media since they cannot expose the truth about their corrupt government. Many of them have always been arrested during demonstrations and charged. Most of the demonstrators face pepper spray from the police who should be protecting them and saving them from any danger in their profession. Many of them are even afraid to demonstrate and fight for their rights since they witness their fellows targeted and pepper-sprayed and finally arrested. Many have also faced death threats, assaults, and ill-treatment. Many say that they receive the death threats in person and even through text messages. It has always been experienced and discovered for any journalist and media office attacked; no justices have been seen. Little or no attention would be taken to solve out the matter, to bring to charge the involved or offer safety to them (Rasheed, 2015)

At one time, the oldest and the most popular newspaper in South Asian Archipelago, the Harper, was closed down for an indefinite period following a court order. Its closure led to a lot of staff members losing their work and hence remaining unemployed. The Maldivian government has also been involved in the harsh treatment of the media offices. This has been evident through that the President Yameen Abdul Gayoom who has been changing and enforcing other laws in the constitution. According to the constitution of citizens of Maldives, it is also possible to curtail the freedom of expression to the citizens for security purposes. This law is much emphasized by the government. Therefore, it is very clear that the government aims at weakening and silencing the media of the country. This has given the media difficult time to investigate the secrets of the corrupt government. The government also has been involved in attacks such as the arson attack on Raajje Television Station which involved thorough beating of the news head of the station. Several raids have also been carried out in the media offices.

Furthermore, the government has also been involved in banning some organizations and associations which have been taking part in fighting for the freedom of the journalists and the media at large. Many of them are not allowed to access court cases concerning their missing journalists. For instance, Ahmed Rilwan. It is also evident that Maldives has remained hostile for independent and the justice supporting media. This shows that the government is very corrupt. Also, it is very evident that the political parties in Maldives are main and the major threats to the journalists and the media offices. Following this opposition, this media has been launching and demonstrating campaigns for their freedom since many of the journalists and media offices had been badly attacked. After the attacks, no justice is seen to apply so as to save the journalists and the media offices from these attacks and threats. At many times, the President is seen lashing the media (Herman, 2015)

At many times, the government is also seen changing the journalist's laws in the constitution rapidly. The laws are only changed to fit the government and not the media. Furthermore, some Television journalists are not allowed to access government official events since they are seen to be spying on the works and the functioning of the government. It is also evident that the National Police Service is also not ready to cooperate, assist and support the media. For instance, the Raajje Television, which has been a private station, and has been on the opposition side of the government, President Yameen has not been supportive to the station and therefore denied their access to his official events. According to the adoption of their constitution, several journalists have faced charges and prosecution by the government. For instance, journalist Abdulla was once prosecuted. The law claimed, he had offended the police duties and therefore had convicted the law.

The government is said to be involved in cases of running from the truth, which at most is brought about by the media. The media is therefore fully interested in giving the truth about the government. It is evident that through the year 2014, several journalists faced harassments by the government at death threats point. Some of these journalists include Abdulla. The government has been spying on the media to foresee their corrupt activities. It was in September 2014, when the government exposed the truth about its secrets. Several cameras which were used to do investigations by the journalists were destroyed and removed from research buildings. This happened as a way of hiding the truth about the government (Junayed, 2016)

In general, it is clear that the freedom of expression in Maldives is not considered in any way. This shows how the nation is corrupt and not ready to be investigated, which means that it never wants the media to be involved in their issues. The government has never taken the issue aspersion lightly. Any journalist, reporter or media staff who was at any given point got violating the law underwent severe punishment. Therefore, this shows clearly that the media is not recognized in Maldives.

 

References

Herman, S., (2015) Arrested Journalists Say Maldives No Paradise for Media, Retrieved from (http://www.voanews.com/a/arrested-journalist-say-maldives-no-paradise-for-media/3268136.html)

Junayed, M., (2016) No justice for Maldives journalists (http://maldivesindependent.com/feature-comment/no-justice-for-maldives-journalists-127530)

Rasheed, Z.,(2015) RSF refers case of missing Maldives journalist to UN, (http://maldivesindependent.com/politics/rsf-refers-case-of-missing-maldives-journalist-to-un-116898)

 

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