Maldives pro-opposition TV shuts down amid political crisis
A pro-opposition television station has been forced to suspend broadcasts after its employees came under threat for reporting on a political crisis in the country.
The broadcaster Raajje TV was closed on Friday, just a couple of days after Vice President Abdul Raheem Abdulla called on security forces to shut down the outlet for allegedly sowing discord.
Opposition lawmaker Eva Abdulla said the broadcaster “received threats from government legislators and others.”
The TV also tweeted earlier this week that its shutdown was “imminent,” and that they would “continue to work” until the “last minute.” It reported that members of a pro-government rally threatened to burn down the outlet’s office.
The Indian Ocean island nation plunged into crisis this week when President Abdulla Yameen declared a state of emergency and ordered the arrest of judges who had ordered the release of his political opponents.
Following the move, the Maldives Broadcasting Commission threatened to take legal action act against media stations that according to it, incited unrest with false information, endangered public interest, and “pave[d] the way for terrorism.”
The unrest has prompted several Western governments as well regional powers India and China to advise their citizens against traveling to the Maldives.
China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Thursday called on the international community to play a constructive role in promoting stability in the country.
The United Nations also joined the chorus, calling on the government in the country to lift the state of emergency and free Supreme Court judges.
UN human rights chief Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein has also described Yameen’s actions as “an all-out assault on democracy.”