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Maldives: Independent TV Station Attacked and Vandalised

August 8 2012

Independent TV Station Attacked and Vandalised

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins its partner and affiliate the Maldives Journalists’ Association (MJA) in condemning the August 7 attack on the studio and broadcast facilities of Raajje TV, which left vital equipment badly damaged, forcing the channel off the air for several hours. We call on the Maldivian authorities to conduct a swift and independent investigation into the incident.

During the early hours of August 7, the Male office of Raajje TV was broken into and critical cables were severed, effectively terminating the station's nationwide service.

This latest incident follows a series of attacks on Raajje TV - the only broadcaster aligned with the opposition Maldives Democratic Party (MDP). According to reports, a senior police official recently described the TV station along with the MDP leader as “enemies of the state”, and the station’s most recent application for a broadcast licence was stalled. On July 24, the police announced they would stop cooperating with Raajje TV, claiming that the station was broadcasting false and slanderous content about the police which had undermined their credibility.

“There is a tendency for police and party activists to target journalists as political turmoil escalates in the Maldives. We urge authorities to allow an independent investigation into the attack of August 7 and bring those responsible to account. Attacks on free speech must not be tolerated” said the IFJ Asia-Pacific.

The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 131 countries

Find the IFJ on Twitter: @ifjasiapacific

Find the IFJ on Facebook: www.facebook.com/IFJAsiaPacific

ENDS

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