Pres Solih urges to stop fueling hate speech and violence

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has stated that Maldives will be supporting the call against the use of the internet for violent extremist and terrorist purposes.

He made his remark while addressing at the ‘Leaders’ Dialogue: Strategic Responses to Terrorist and Violent Extremism,’ held as part of the ongoing 74th Annual Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).

Speaking on the topic, President Solih outlined why he believes that conventional security measures are inadequate in the fight against terrorism, as they do not address the root socio-political causes that nourish extremism; racism, xenophobia and hate speech. He urged all governments to take steps to curtail them.

President Solih stated the Maldives is committed to working with the international community, and with companies specialising in digital technology to prevent the internet being used as a tool to promote hateful agendas. He also praised state efforts to work with technology companies to remove extremist content online, stating that the Maldives’ government will be implementing similar measures to ensure that the internet is not used as a platform to spread hate and encourage violence.

He emphasized that the Maldives knows all too well the dire consequences of not addressing online hate-speech, highlighting that a Maldivian journalist, Ahmed Rilwan, was murdered by a local Al-Qaeda affiliated group after being subject to multiple death threats on social media.

“It is one of my Government’s highest obligations to ensure that no other family in the Maldives has to endure such heart-breaking tragedy,” he said.