'Will carry on work despite dissolution' - MDN

Maldivian Democracy Network (MDN) has stated that the organization will continue its work despite having been formally dissolved by the government.

In a statement issued criticizing the government for banning the organization, MDN said the decision to ban the organization did not follow due process. The work of the organization will be carried on despite the ban, said MDN.

The non-governmental organization (NGO) was dissolved on Thursday by the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Community Empowerment, the supervisory authority in-charge of clubs and organizations following a contentious publication by the organization titled "Preliminary Assessment on Radicalization in the Maldives", which challenged Islamic principles, and slandered prophet Mohamed (PBUH).

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

In their statement released Friday, MDN said the report highlighted radical elements that existed in the country and said that the organization will continue its efforts to eradicate the extremist philosophies that exist in the country.

Religious scholars and the public rallied to ban the organization after the contents of the report came to light in October. The Youth Ministry on November 5 made the decision to ban the organization based on the findings of the police investigation conducted on the matter. The organization was granted a period of 45 days to make arrangements regarding their debts and assets.

After the period ended this Sunday, the Ministry on Thursday issued a statement that said that the organization had not made any comments or claims regarding their debts and assets within the granted period. Therefore, the organization has now been officially dissolved, read the statement.

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih had 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 the Maldives due to a lack of action against the organisation and called to ban the NGO.

MDN had later apologised for the content of the report and took the publication off their website. At the time, the organization had stated that they were working with religious scholars to revise and amend the report. However, members of the organization spoke in defense of the report even after that.