The media rights body Reporters Without Borders (RSF) had voiced concern over a series of recent actions taken against journalists in the Indian Ocean coral islands of Maldives. Maldivian authorities have arrested an opposition cartoonist, expelled two foreign journalists including one working for the online newspaper Minivannews.com and backtracked on plans to end the state’s broadcast media monopoly, RSF said.
“The government should be trying to defuse tension on the eve of a major opposition demonstration, but instead the police are intimidating, expelling or arresting journalists perceived as being sympathetic to the protest,” the press freedom organisation said.
“We once again point out that an opposition media has as much right to work freely as a pro-government media,” Reporters Without Borders added. “The harassment of Minivan and Minivannews.com journalists must stop.”
The government accused Minivan of calling for the assassination of President Abdul Gayoom when the opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) launched its campaign for the 10 November demonstration at the start of October.
Thereafter, the authorities have been accusing the oppositi