Thursday 30th Nov 2023
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Criminal Court

Criminal Court Issues Order for Information on Twitter User Critical of Government

Male, Maldives - The Maldives Criminal Court has issued an order for information regarding the identity of the owner of a Twitter account run under the name Hassan Kurusee. The account has been spotlighted for regularly posting government inside information specifically related to corruption, and for criticizing senior government officials.
The pursuit of this information began after the police, at the behest of the President's Office, tried to trace the owner of the account. However, their initial request was denied by Twitter, which refused to provide details about the account's owner.
Feeling the pressure mounting, the President's Office and the police sought an order from the criminal court. Though the court order was subsequently returned to Twitter, the social media giant has not yet provided the information.
Twitter's refusal is consistent with its global policy of rarely revealing the details of an account, except in cases related to terrorism, kidnapping, trafficking, and other such heinous crimes. The company has been clear about not sharing information with governments about accounts used to criticize them.
The situation has ignited a debate in the Maldives about the balance between government rights to pursue legal action and individual rights to privacy and freedom of expression.
While the administration emphasizes the need to maintain transparency and integrity, civil rights activists argue that such a move might set a dangerous precedent, stifling dissenting voices.
Legal experts and privacy advocates are closely monitoring the situation, expressing concern over potential infringement on privacy rights.