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Raajje TV slapped with MVR2 mn fine

The station accused the broadcasting watchdog of trying to obstruct its work ahead of a presidential election.



Private broadcaster Raajje TV has been slapped with a fine of MVR2 million (US$129,807) a month after the station accused the Maldives Broadcasting Commission of trying to obstruct its work ahead of a presidential election.

The fine was approved at a meeting Wednesday after the opposition-aligned station was found to have aired content that threatened national security, the MBC said in a statement.

It also said the station was given the opportunity to respond to the complaint and ordered to pay the money within 30 days, local media reported.

But Raajje TV’s Chief Operating Officer Fiyaz Moosa told Sun they were unaware of the fine.

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

Last month 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.

Raajje TV also said the delays in hearing cases against the MBC “were 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.