Maldives Broadcasting Commission has fined local television channel Raajje TV with MVR 1 million for broadcasting defamatory comments against President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom.
The content is said to have been broadcast live last October at a rally held at main opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP)’s main hub. This is the first time that a news agency has been fined with such a large amount.
The verdict issued by Broadcasting Commission states that Raajje TV has admitted that they broadcast the content which contained heavy defamatory comments towards President Yameen which incites doubt towards his responsibilities and prestige. Hence, the commission declared that the content was against the Defamation and Freedom of Speech Act.
However, the Broadcasting Commission did not specify to which dialogue the case refer to.
The verdict passed unanimously by the commission states that the amount is to be paid in one month. If the penalty is not paid in due time, the Broadcasting Commission holds the authority to abolish or suspend the license of Raajje TV.
Under the Defamation Act, the case cannot be filed at a court until the payment is settled.
Previously, Raajje TV was fined MVR 250,000 regarding a news broadcast by the channel. Raajje TV had opened a fund box to raise the money which they settled on Thursday.