Maldivian Democracy Network (MDN) has called on the government to reverse its decision to revoke the license issued to operate the organization.
Ministry of Youth and Sports, the supervisory authority in-charge of clubs and organizations, Tuesday announced its decision to dissolve the company after Maldives Police Service found a contentious publication by the organization titled "Preliminary Assessment on Radicalization in the Maldives" to have mocked Islam and disrespected and slandered Prophet Mohamed (PBUH). The organization has been granted a period of 45 to make arrangements regarding their debts and assets.
MDN on Wednesday accused the Youth Ministry of cancelling their registration unlawfully and without due process.
The organization further criticized the administration for being the first of the past five governments to ever shut own a civil society organization, despite the administration's pledge to protect fundamental rights.
"We call on the Government of Maldives to reverse the decision to cancel 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 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.