Committee members resign over allegations of interference

Members that resigned from the committee investigating the reporting of the Safari Rape Case by the Media Council.

The three-member committee investigating the reporting of the Safari Rape Case by the Media Council have all resigned.

The members resigned after allegations that the Medica Council President Hidhaathulla tried to influence the decisions of the committee. The committee is formed by Azmee Ali who is the chair, Ahmed Naaif, and Mohamed Yameen.

The letter sent by Azmy regarding his resignation accused the Council President Hidhaayathulla Abdul Haadhy of attempting to influence the decision. Azmy also said that he had received word that Hidhaayathulla “bad mouthed” about him and another member of the Committee to the remaining member. Azmy accused Hidhaayathulla of attempting to create enmity between members of the Committee.

The Parliament’s Committee on Independent Institutions recently noted that media reports of the “Safari Rape Case” had led to discontent among the public. Rumors still persist that one of the perpetrators of the case was the spouse of an MP from the governing MDP.

A letter signed and sent by Fathimath Niusha, Secretary-General of the Parliament to the Media Council gave an ultimatum to amend the regulations of the Council. The ultimatum was regarding action to be taken against any media that violate the ethical and disciplinary standards of media. The ultimatum by the parliament expired on July 8.

Editors of some of the most prominent media in the Maldives accused the parliament of threatening the free media of the country by ordering changes to the regulations of the Maldives Media Council during a press conference held last night.