Persecuting independent and opposition media
Five years after the February 2012 coup d’état, the government continues to persecute the 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 death 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. This poisonous climate reinforces self-censorship. Refusal by the authorities to investigate journalist Ahmed Rilwan’s disappearance in 2014 speaks to the climate of violence and impunity in which journalists operate.
112 in 2016
34.17 in 2016