Persecuting independent and opposition media
In the six years since the February 2012 coup d’état, the government has repeatedly stepped up its persecution of independent media. In August 2016, parliament passed a new law criminalizing defamation and allowing the authorities to close media outlets for “defamatory” content. Many Maldivian journalists say they have been the targets of threats. According to a report by the Maldives Broadcasting Corporation (MBC), political parties are the leading source of these threats to journalists, followed by criminal gangs and religious extremists. Yameen Rasheed, a citizen-journalist who had been investigating government corruption, was stabbed to death in April 2017. The poisonous climate of violence and impunity forces journalists to censor themselves. The limitations on press freedom were increased in early 2018 by a state of emergency, which allowed the government to intimidate reporters and close independent media outlets.
117 in 2017
39.30 in 2017