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Maldives: Nasheed limits press freedom as his links to Christian missionaries are exposed

Male', Maldives.
President Mohamed Nasheed clamped down once again on press freedom in the country, threatening to close down media that reported "unsubstantiated" accusations thrown at President Nasheed by opposition politicians.

In a press conference today, Nasheed's Press Secretary Mohamed Zuhair (brother of Tourism Minister Mariyam Zulfa and a known drug addict) said that the media was committing a heinous crime in presenting allegations that could not be substantiated.

This threat is the latest in actions taken by Nasheed in recent days to try and limit the public exposure of the Nasheed regime's links to Christian churches and missionaries such as David Hardingham. Yesterday, Nasheed ordered his police to investigate Deputy Leader of the Dhivehi Qaumee Party (DQP) Dr. Jameel, the popular private TV network DhiTV and ex-Sandhaanu writer Ahmed Didi for propagating news that the Nasheed administration operated under the influence of Christian missionaries.

It is difficult to understand how the press, which reports public remarks by opposition politicians and by Nasheed himself, can be held culpable as to the veracity of the remarks by a third party. Nasheed, who came to power in 2008 lauded by some Western countries as a journalist whose freedom of speech had been compromised by the previous regime, is now doing the same thing to the Maldivian media at large today.

Perhaps of greater political interest is the extreme reactions shown by the Nasheed regime to the opposition statements on his close links with Christian missionaries. Maldivians cannot be blamed if these extreme actions and threats lead to suspicions that perhaps the Nasheed regime does have some links to Christian missionaries.

Certainly, there can be no denying that Mohamed Nasheed is closely allied to the Christian missionary David Hardingham, with David Hardingham leading MDP protests in London along with the likes of Sara Mahir under the name of Friends of Maldives. The links of Hardingham and his Maldivian compatriots to the Joshua Project have also been documented by Maldives Police.

The current situation calls for an in depth investigation by Parliament given that the President, his administration and the state police are compromised. However, such an investigation must be by a Parliamentary committee of the whole, since the Parliamentary committee on national security is compromised and led by Nasheed's MPs.

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