'PG must comment on MDN issue' : Ex-VP

Former Vice President of Maldives Dr. Mohamed Jameel Ahmed has stated that Maldivian Democratic Network (MDN)'s open declaration that they would continue their work despite having been dissolved by the government is a clear move challenging the law.

In a tweet published by the former VP, Jameel said it is important for the Prosecutor General's Office to comment on the issue.

The non-partisan organization was formally dissolved on December 19 by the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Community Empowerment, the supervisory authority in-charge of clubs and organizations. The dissolution was prompted by the publication of a contentious report 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 the 'Hadith' of Prophet Mohamed (PBUH) as examples of ideas that contribute to promulgation of radical worldviews.

After the Youth Ministry announced MDN's official dissolution, MDN released a statement declaring that the government's decision to ban the organization did not follow due process. The work of the organization will be carried on despite the ban, said MDN.

Dr. Jameel took to Twitter to state that the organization's open declaration against the dissolution was an act that challenged the laws of the country. Allowing such acts could weaken the authority of laws, said Jameel, adding that PG must comment on the issue in a professional and unbiased manner.

The Youth Ministry temporarily suspended the organization earlier this October pending investigation, after the controversial report came to light and the public and religious scholars called to take action against the organization.The ministry on November 5 then 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 last week, the Ministry issued a statement that said 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 Maldives due to lack of action against the organization, and called to ban the NGO.

MDN had later apologized 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.