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Maldivian journalist receives death threats

This statement was originally published on ifj.org on 20 February 2015.

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and the Maldives Journalist Association (MJA) strongly criticize the death threats made to a senior journalist with Raajje TV of the Maldives. The IFJ and MJA said threats and intimidation against journalists are becoming tools to silence journalists which should not be tolerated.

According to Raajje TV, one of their senior journalists had received death threats via a phone call and text message on Sunday, February 15. The journalist received a call from Abdulla Yamin, a member of the Maldives parliament, who is currently working to establish his own television station. Yamin requested that a former Raajje TV employee be allowed into the building to collect his belongings. The journalist said that the belongings would need to be verified by security first.

Following the phone call, the journalist received a call from an unknown number which said that if "Raajje TV did not do as Yamin said he will be killed within the next hour and the station will be vandalized." Raajje TV brought the matter to the attention of the Maldives Police Service and they have since had an active security presence at the station.

The MJA and the IFJ call on the relevant authorities to investigate the matter and provide protection for the employees and the equipment at the station by taking necessary actions.

Jane Worthington, the IFJ Asia Pacific deputy director, said: "Death threats are a serious form of intimidation used to silence journalists. Incidents of threats to a journalist and a media organization vandalized are becoming increasingly common in the Maldives. The IFJ urges the state to provide complete protection for journalists and media houses and call for an end to these types of actions."

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