Online mediums preaching other religions not block over lack of court order in English

A man reads Quran on the phone.

Sun has discovered that obstructions to blocking online mediums used to preach other religions in Maldives are attributed to the lack of a court order in English language.

On November 29, Criminal Court issued an order in Dhivehi language to block online mediums used to preach other religions in Maldives after Police submitted the case following a collaborative investigation with relevant authorities into various online mediums used to preach other religions to Maldivians such as websites, social media pages, youtube channels and applications.

Two months later, the websites, social media pages, youtube channels and applications are still in operation. Police and Communications Authority has been unable to block these mediums.

Sun has been informed that as such pages to not violate the guidelines of Facebook, Youtube and Appstore, the companies refuse to block the pages. Nevertheless, the companies have stated that they will take it into consideration should there be a court order.

“Have to submit a court order to that side. That order must be in English. At present, there is a court order in Dhivehi. Can only be enforced when an English court order is received,” a senior official from a relevant authority who wished not to be named had told Sun.

Although social media pages and applications cannot be blocked easily – websites can be blocked easily by the Communications Authority. A lot of websites have been blocked in a similar fashion, previously.

Sun reached out to Maldives Police Service and Communications Authority to get a statement regarding the matter, however has been unsuccessful in its efforts.

Other religions are being propagated via social media means targeted at various age groups, including children and youths. They include videos being circulated on the internet, which are dubbed in the Dhivehi language, preaching Christianity – similar to the series broadcasted by TVM during the holy month of Ramadan, Prophet Muhammad.