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Maldives broadcasting watchdog ‘desperate’ to fine Raajje TV

Raajje TV has been fined MVR1.7 million in the past 18 months.



The Maldives Broadcasting Commission is “desperate” to fine Raajje TV in an effort to obstruct its work ahead of this year’s presidential elections, the station alleged Wednesday.

Raajje TV has been fined MVR1.7 million (US$110,297)  in the past 18 months and the station believes the fines are illegal and unwarranted.

It said a confidential source confirmed the MBC was looking to penalise it in connection with a speech aired on March 16.

“We have repeatedly requested the MBC to provide details about the alleged complaint, but the commission has failed to do so,” said Raajje TV.

It accused the watchdog of trying to influence the station’s editorial policy and obstructing its work to hold the government accountable.

“We believe the commission’s political slaves have the intention to impede the station’s work for the upcoming presidential elections and halt our coverage,” the statement read.

It called on the MBC “to stop these uncivilized acts.”

MBC president Mohamed Shahyb refused to comment when contacted by the Maldives Independent and asked for questions to be emailed in writing.

Raajje TV said the delays in hearing cases against the MBC “was encouragement for the commission to continue its unjust action under the guise of an independent institution.”

The station has filed lawsuits and complaints against the MBC to recover the losses caused as a result of the “unlawful decisions” by the broadcasting watchdog.