Maldives profile - Media

  • 21 January 2013
  • From the section Asia
Maldivian man reading newspaper
Image caption The private press reflects a range of viewpoints

The government operates TV and radio networks. A handful of private TV and radio stations have been licensed.

Broadcasters and newspapers carry criticism of the state, but officials have powers to close outlets. Self-regulation means that little official action is taken against journalists.

The constitution protects freedom of expression, but places curbs on speech deemed "contrary to the tenets of Islam", notes US-based Freedom House.

"Religion is becoming a taboo subject," warned Reporters Without Borders in 2012. It cited the case of journalist Ismail Rasheed, who was targeted by officials on the grounds that his blog contained anti-Islamic material.

Months later, Mr Rasheed nearly died in an attack outside his home. He blamed hardline Islamists for the assault.

There were nearly 137,000 internet users by December 2012 ( The blocking of Christian websites by the Ministry of Islamic Affairs is a concern, notes Freedom House.

The press