Maldives govt announces decision to dissolve MDN

The Maldives government has announced its decision to dissolve non partisan NGO Maldivian Democracy Network (MDN).

Religious scholars and the public have been calling to ban the organization following a contentious publication by the organization titled "Preliminary Assessment on Radicalization in the Maldives", which challenged Islamic principles, and slandered prophet Mohamed (PBUH).

While the Youth Ministry, the supervisory authority in-charge of clubs and organizations, temporally suspended the organization earlier this October pending investigation, the ministry Tuesday made the decision to ban the organization based on the findings of the police investigation conducted on the matter. The organization has been granted a period of 45 to make arrangements regarding their debts and assets.

The report published in 2016 outlined several verses from the Quran and 'Hadith' of Prophet Mohamed (PBUH) as examples of ideas that contribute to promulgation of radical worldviews.

While the police investigation found the report to have mocked Islam and slandered the prophet, President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih earlier assured that the matter will be thoroughly investigated and appropriate measures will be taken as stipulated under the Maldives constitution. However, protests and rallies were held across Maldives due to lack of action against the organization, and called to ban the NGO.

The police recently summoned founder of the organization Shahindha Ismail, and an official involved in preparing the report Azra Naseem for questioning. While a period of two weeks was granted to present themselves to police headquarters, neither individual presented themselves for questioning. Both Shahindha and Azra are currently abroad.