MDP: Govt. misleads the reality about obstructing journalism

MDP leadership at the concluding rally for the party's parliamentary campaign on April 19, 2024. (Sun Photo/Moosa Nadheem)

Main opposition MDP has accused the government of trying to mislead the public despite obstructing freedom of press.

The party made huge allegations against the government in a statement on Friday on the occasion of World Press Freedom Day, In this regard, MDP accused the government of trying to mislead the public despite obstructing freedom of press.  

“In the past six months, the government has conspired to misconstrue the reality of matters, via official government agencies. The sudden changes to the policies of the President’s Office to ban journalists from carrying their mobile phones for press conferences held at the office in order to obstruct their work is also unacceptable,” the statement read.

Despite President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu pledging to form a transparent government – MDP states the current administration, after assuming office, has purposely withheld information or restricted information. 

The party also expressed concern over recent threats against some local media outlets.

On this note, MDP, underscoring that increased threats were alarming, said they must be investigated as serious matters, followed by prompt action. The party highlighted the work carried out by journalists in spite of these threats, and in light of this, extended their gratitude.

“MDP believes freedom of press to be a right that should not have any constraints. Henceforth, we call on the government to shape matters on this path,” said the party.

MDP further said the party has undertaken proud efforts to ensure freedom of press, adding that freedom of press was guaranteed to media personnel during both administrations of the party.

Despite the claim, Maldives slipped six ranks in the World Press Freedom Index (WPFI) this year, placing 106th. Reporters Without Borders (RSF) – which compiled the list – attributed the ratification of the Evidence Bill into law including the provision which allows courts to compel journalists to disclose their sources in some circumstances as the main reason for the drop in the rank. The legislature was ratified during the former administration, headed by MDP.