MJA condemns ratification of evidence bill despite alarm over source disclosure

Journalists protest in front of People's Majlis building on June 30, 2022. (Sun photo)

Maldives Journalist Association (MJA) has condemned the decision by President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih to ratify the Evidence Bill, despite concerns over a provision in the bill which allows courts to force journalists and media outlets to reveal their sources.

MJA’s President Ali Rifshan noted journalists had repeatedly shared concerns with the President regarding the serious implications of the provision.

“The current administration, and the President himself has repeatedly vowed to provide the press full freedom. But this bill steals that freedom from us,” he told Sun on Monday evening.

Rifshan said journalists remain committed to protecting the identity of sources, and would continue the campaign against the bill.

“The next step in the campaign is a declaration. This declaration will show the concerns journalists share,” he said.

In a statement on Monday evening, MJA described the ratification of the bill as a move to obstruct and curtail press freedom.

“And this shows state institutions do not have the intention of ascertaining press freedom,” said MJA.