The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has called for an investigation into the threats issued against RaajjeTV and Channel 13 — two privately owned TV stations in the Maldives.

An anonymous post on social media platform Instagram, on 28 April, threatened to set the offices of RaajjeTV ablaze, with comments also targeting Senior Video Journalist Laisa Ahmed.

While the station has called on the Police for an official investigation, and protection measures for the station and media staff, Channel 13 has also since been similarly threatened.

“The IFJ condemns threats against broadcasters Raajjee TV and Channel 13. Threats against any news outlet must be taken seriously, with appropriate protection provided for media outlets, journalists and media workers. Authorities must take initiative and conduct a thorough and immediate investigation to ensure that those responsible do not escape with impunity,” the organisation said in press statement.

The IFJ’s stance was echoed by the Maldives Journalist Association (MJA).

“The MJA also reminds all state actors and government agencies of their unconditional duty to protect journalists and media institutions.These threats further erode the working environment for journalists, enabling a fearful atmosphere that continues unabated due to the widespread impunity for crimes against journalists,” the local organisation said while condemning the treats to both stations.

RaajjeTV has, during the Mohamed Waheed Hassan Manik administration 10 years ago, been previously set on fire, causing irreparable damage to equipment and the BKT building out of which the station was operating at the time. The incident occurred after repeated threats to employees had been brought to the attention of local authorities who, at the time, were heavily criticised for failing to take serious action.