Collapse in Press Freedom in the Maldives
Reporters without Borders released their worldwide Press Freedom Index for 2013 on Wednesday. The index ranks countries according to levels of press and media freedoms. Countries with the best levels of press freedom are ranked highest.
The Maldives fell 30 places to 103rd place this year. Fiji, which suffered a coup in 2006, was also placed alongside the Maldives.
According to Reporters without Borders: “In the Maldives… the events that led to the resignation of President Nasheed led to violence and threats against journalists in state TV and private media outlets regarded as pro-Nasheed by the coup leaders.”
Responding to the Reporters without Borders’ index, President Nasheed said:
“Press freedom in the Maldives has crashed since Dr Waheed’s coup. Security forces have beaten up journalists, and the regime has targeted and threatened independent media outlets.
“One of the defining images of the coup was Dr Waheed’s own brother leading a gang of mutinying police and storming the Maldives National Broadcasting Corporation, pulling the station off air and locking the journalists in a room. Suppression of the media has been the hallmark of Waheed’s rule.”