Maldivian Democracy Network (MDN) has called on the government to reverse its decision to revoke the license issued to operate the organization.
On Tuesday, the Ministry of Youth and Sports, the supervisory body in charge of clubs and organizations, declared its intention to abolish the firm after Maldives Police Service discovered a controversial publication headlined “Preliminary Assessment on Radicalisation in the Maldives” to ridicule Islam and slander Prophet Mohammed (PBUH). The organization was given a 45-day duration to manage their debts and assets.
On Wednesday, MDN accused the Ministry of Youth of unlawfully canceling their registration without due process.
Moreover, the organization condemned the administration for being the first of the past five administrations to ever shut down a civil society organization, despite the government’s pledge to uphold fundamental rights.
“We call on the Government of Maldives to reverse the decision to cancel the registration, afford us due process, conduct fair investigations and if deemed so, take proportionate action so that we may be able to assist victims of torture and injustice as we have for the past 15 years.”, said MDN.
The 2016 document highlighted many passages from the Quran and Prophet Mohammed’s ‘ Hadith ‘ (PBUH) as indicators of concepts that lead to extremist world views being promulgated. Although police investigation found the report to have insulted Islam and slandered the prophet, President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih earlier ensured that the matter would be thoroughly investigated and adequate action would be taken as stipulated in the constitution of the Maldives.
Nevertheless, due to lack of enforcement against the organization, protests and riots were conducted across the Maldives and demanded the NGO to be barred.
Recently, police called the organization’s leader, Shahindha Ismail, and an official who was active in drafting the document, Azra Naseem, for questioning. While it was granted a period of two weeks to present to the police headquarters, none of the individuals presented themselves for questioning. At the moment, both Shahindha and Azra are overseas.