Malé, Maldives – The Deputy Managing Director of Island Aviation Services, Aishath Jennifer has made an apparent death threat to the journalists of Mihaaru media group.
Quote retweeting a news article by Mihaaru, Jennifer tagged the media group and proceeded to ask whether they would only stop the game that they are playing when one of them gets killed in the middle of Majeedhee Magu.
How sad is that @Mihaarunews .
Will you stop the game that you are playing in the name of Hate Bill when one of you gets killed in the middle of Majeedhee Magu ?Aishath Jennifer, Deputy Managing Director, Island Avaition
Following her remarks, outrage has sparked on social media calling for her arrest, describing her statement as death threats towards journalists. However, Maldives police service is yet to comment on the matter.
Threats against journalists, specially death threats have started to be taken more seriously by the public in the Maldives, after the tragic incidents which saw a journalist kidnapped and another murdered. However, similar concern and according action is yet to be seen from relevant authorities.
The current administration of Maldives, governed by Maldivian Democratic Party and it’s coalition representatives, under Ibrahim Mohamed Solih came on to power with promises of ensuring safety and security for persons in the Maldivian media arena. The government also boasts increasing points in the press freedom index.
However, political appointees, Parliament Members and other pro government persons have been seen calling to shut down media outlets, and in the case of Jennifer, giving death threats.
In another incident in 2020, MP Ikram Hassan of Dhiggaru constituency stated in a Parliamentary sitting broadcasted on live TV,
“.. The other issue, Honorable Speaker, is that media will cover this incident. Media will cover this, and media will invite the MP and take his interviews. Media will be extremely irresponsible in carrying this out. This isn’t at all how it should be like in a constructive democracy. In a constructive democracy, this should be condemned and his worthlessness should be displayed. If the media doesn’t work like this, this country will never improve.”
MP Ikrams comments were following a physical altercation which took place inside the Parliament chambers where MP Ahmed Shiyam Of Naifaru constituency was physically assaulted on live television.