Information hero

Mariyath Mohammed

“Your sister has hanged herself and we can help you do the same.” This is the kind of threat that 29-year-old Mariyath Mohammed gets in return for her commitment to freely reported news. After a spell at HFM Radio, she joined Minivan News, one of Maldives’ few independent news websites, in 2012. At a time of political turmoil, she set about shedding light on an explosive issue that all other media have carefully avoided – the growing influence of radical Islamist groups. During the first five months of 2013, she was constantly followed, threatened and attacked – on one occasion by men armed with a steel bar. But her resolve is unshaken. Her recent coverageof the sentence of 100 lashes that was passed on a 15-year-old girl shocked the international community and led to the sentence being rescinded.