Journalists will be consulted in drafting the Media Bill: President Solih

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih meets with Maldivian journalists | Photo: PO

Malé, Maldives – President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih on Sunday stated that the government will work closely with the media and will consult journalists in the media bill, which is currently being drafted.

President Solih stated this at a meeting, held at President’s Office this morning to discuss concerns of the media regarding the Evidence Bill, recently ratified by the President and passed by a large majority of the parliament.

The Attorney General, Ibrahim Riffath and senior officials from the President’s Office attended the meeting.

The journalists shared with the President their views on the circumstances under which the identities of confidential sources and informants must be disclosed under the Evidence Act, as well as the need for certain terminologies to be clarified.

The President explained the need for such a requirement in the Evidence Act and assured them that the administration would not impede media freedom and would continue to support journalism as it had in previous years.

The government would consider [journalists] views and amend the Evidence Act to clearly define situations involving threats to national security, which may necessitate revealing journalistic sources.

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih

During the meeting, Attorney General Ibrahim Riffath noted that the component on the disclosure of an identity of an informant was drafted to the extent demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society and within the ambit of international best practices and international conventions.

The President ratified the Evidence Act (Act No. 11/2022) on July 18, 2022, disregarding a petition to not ratify the bill as is by over 150 journalists and requests by multiple local and international human rights groups to amend or repeal the bill.