The broadcasting regulator has slapped an MVR1 million (US$64,850) fine on Raajje TV for airing a speech at an opposition rally in October that was deemed defamatory towards President Abdulla Yameen.
In a statement issued Thursday, the Maldives Broadcasting Commission said it concluded after an inquiry that the content “openly created doubts in the hearts of the people about the legal duties or responsibilities of the ruler of the Maldives and damaged his honour and dignity”.
If the fine is not paid within 30 days, the commission can suspend or cancel Raajje TV’s broadcasting license. The fine must also be paid in full before the regulator’s decision could be appealed to a court.
The station raised the money through a fundraising drive.
According to regulations enacted under the law, media outlets can be fined between MVR50,000 (US$3,200) and MVR500,000 (US$32,400) for a first offence, and up to MVR2 million (US$129,700) after the third offence.
The MVR1 million fine is the maximum allowed for a second offence.
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Source URL: Maldives Independent