Male, Maldives - The Broadcasting Commission has initiated an investigation into Channel-13 following the airing of three songs that were critical of President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih. In a letter addressed to Media Ring, the parent company of Channel 13, the commission raised concerns about the songs, stating that they violated accepted norms of morality and contained language and gestures that deviated from social norms.
According to the letter from the Broadcasting Commission, the songs aired by Channel-13 on May 22 not only contravened the standards of morality but also potentially undermined the dignity and reputation of individuals or groups. The commission cited specific sections of the Code of Practice which prohibit the broadcast of content that may harm the dignity or reputation of any individual or group.
Broadcom, the regulatory body overseeing broadcasting in the Maldives, emphasized the importance of prioritizing news and current affairs while avoiding undue burden on individuals and the dissemination of accurate information. The letter highlighted that the broadcast of these songs went against these principles.
In response to the allegations, Channel 13 has been given until Monday, June 12, at 1400 hours to submit a written reply to the commission. Failure to respond within the given period may result in a decision being made based on the available evidence.
It is worth noting that the Broadcasting Commission has previously examined programs and content aired by Channel 13, leading to the suspension of certain programs. However, the government has consistently maintained that no actions have been taken against the media outlet for criticizing President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih.
Channel 13 stands as the sole dissident television station in the Maldives, as all other channels are under government control. The station has been known for its critical coverage of the government and has often expressed dissenting opinions. As a result, it has frequently come under scrutiny from regulatory bodies and faced challenges in maintaining its independence.
The Broadcasting Commission's investigation into the three critical songs represents yet another chapter in the ongoing saga between Channel 13 and the government. The outcome of this investigation will have significant implications for freedom of speech and media diversity in the Maldives.