CPJ calls on Maldives to drop case against Raajje TV journalist – CPJ Press Freedom Online

Raajje TV journalist Mohamed Visam outside the Criminal Court. PHOTO: HUSSAIN WAHEED/MIHAARU

New York, April 18, 2017–The Committee to Protect Journalists today called on the Maldives’ prosecutor general to drop the legal case against Raajje TV journalist Mohamed Wisam, who was acquitted last month of obstructing police at an anti-government protest in 2015. The prosecutor general lodged an appeal with the high court on April 5.

Wisam was acquitted on March 28, after Judge Ahmed Shakeel ruled there was insufficient evidence to support the charge brought against him, according to the Maldives Independent. Wisam was at the protest to cover an issue of national importance, according to a statement that Raajje TV emailed to CPJ.

“The prosecutor general’s insistence on continuing this baseless case against Mohamed Wisam and Raajje TV is clearly intended to intimidate all journalists in the Maldives,” said CPJ Asia Program Coordinator Steven Butler. “Wisam was merely doing his job as a journalist, and should not be prosecuted.”

During the trial, the prosecution said that Wisam scaled barricades and obstructed police officers, but the judge said that a video presented as evidence showed only Wisam’s arrest, according to the Maldives Independent. The judge noted that other journalists were covering the protests, the article said.

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