Maldives drops 15 positions in World Press Freedom Index

Journalist Rilwan's family members in Colombo, Sri Lanka August 28, 2018. | Photo: REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte

Malé, Maldives – Maldives has dropped 15 positions to 87/180 in 2022 from 72/180 in 2021.

The report noted that while Maldives has made progress with the “repealed the draconian 2016 defamation law, which had been widely used by the previous government to pressure independent media outlets,” the “constitutional safeguard to sources was threatened by the Evidence Bill presented to Parliament at the end of 2021, which would allow the courts to compel journalists to reveal their confidential sources.”

Advertising is allocated without any transparency or oversight … editors were told to remove an article that had caused displeasure or were asked not to cover a sensitive subject.

World Press Freedom Index

RSF notes that this poses a significant threat to independent journalism with media outlets with no significant readership receiving large sums of money from state enterprises.

The report also highlights the lack of safety or justice to reporters and the lack of any progress by the death commission in the cases of Ahmed Rilwan Abdulla and Yameen Rasheed.

The report also highlights an emerging trend of sexual harassment of women journalists.