MJA & Maldives Editor’s Guild express concern at parliamentary influence on media regulatory body

MP of Addu Meedhoo Constituency Rozeyna Adam | Photo: adduLIVE

Malé, Maldives – Maldives Editor’s Guild on Saturday, stated that Maldives Media Council is being summoned to the Parliamentary Committee on Independent Commissions, without giving them an opportunity to investigate the complaints made by Indian High Commission about Local medias, is to influence the decision of MMC.

The statement released from Maldives Editor’s Guild stated that if a foreign embassy has any complaint regarding a local issue, they must report it through the Foreign Ministry, following which the Ministry should appeal to the relevant authorities to investigate the matter.

Editor’s Guild stated that a chairperson of the committee asking MMC to investigate the case of a local media following a call from a foreign diplomat is also not allowed by the regulations. They added that summoning the council without allowing them to investigate the case first, is a clear attempt to influence the decision of the council.

The Indian High Commission directly contacted the Chairperson of the Parliamentary Committee and MP of Addu Meedhoo Constituency Rozaina Adam. The Editor’s Guild stated that this is against the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and that this is an attempt to influence internal decisions.

Indian High Commission raised concerns over the recent recurring articles and social media posts attacking the dignity of the High Commission to Rozeyna, after which the Parliament requested the Maldives Media Council (MMC) to look into the matter.

Rozaina informed local media outlet “Mihaaru” last night that a letter was sent to MMC to investigate the attacks against the Indian High Commission, however, the letter was sent without any discussions or decision with the remaining members of the Independent Commission.

While the letter was sent to the Media Council, the authority has already been scheduled to attend the parliamentary authority regarding media reports of the murder of a 13 year old. MP Rozaina said that they have requested for information on the aforementioned issue as well.

In addition to the Maldives Editor’s Guild, Maldives Journalist Association has also expressed concern over the Indian Commission requesting to investigate the case of a local media through the Parliamentary Committee on Independent Commissions.

The association also stated that a foreign authority must request to investigate such a case through the Foreign Ministry and that they have noticed that this regulation was not followed. The association added that such actions go against the best practice to be followed in such situations.

Furthermore, Maldives Journalist Association requested the relevant authorities to endure that the right to journalism is not violated in any case, and also requested local medias to report their news such that they are according to the best practice and also advised them to maintain the highest level of discipline when reporting.