Maldives Journalists Association (MJA) states that 60 percent of journalists in Maldives face online violence.
MJA recently released a report in collaboration with International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) entitled ‘Chasing Justice on Impunity for Crimes against Journalists'. The report covers violence faced by Maldivian journalists during the course of their work in the past two years.
Violence includes, but is not limited to, physical attacks including killing and other forms of violence, arbitrary arrest and arbitrary detention, intimidation and harassment, and digital attacks including hacking and phishing.
One of the most common forms of violence abuse faced by journalists happens online.
The study found three in five journalists in Maldives – meaning 60 percent - face online harassment, while nearly two in five journalists – meaning 38 percent - face offline violence.
And among those who experienced violence in the past two years, 21 percent of journalists have experienced online violence once or twice, while 39 percent have experienced online violence more than twice.
Similarly, 23 percent of journalists have experienced offline violence once or twice, while 14 percent have experienced online violence more than twice.
In addition to covering online violence, the report also covers political threats, threats from criminal gangs, gender-based threats, assault, murder attempts and abduction of journalists.
MJA’s President Mohamed Hamdhoon hopes the report will serve as a baseline for Maldivian government to start its work towards protecting the freedom of expression, freedom of the press, and enhancing the security of journalists in Maldives.
“The report documents status of media rights violation and situation of impunity on crime against journalists along with the perception of the journalists on the issues, this can serve as a baseline for the Maldivian government to start its works towards protecting freedom of expression and the press and enhancing the safety of journalists in Maldives," he said.