Parliament cannot demand removal of news articles: MJA

President of MJA giving an interview to local journalists previously | Photo: Adhadhu

Malé, Maldives – Maldives Journalists Association (MJA) has expressed concern after the Maldives’ Parliament issued a directive to media institutions demanding the removal of an article.

The directive by the Parliament concerns articles that were published by local media outlets which reported on the discussions that took place during the Committee on National Security Services (241 Committee) meeting on Wednesday.

Although this meeting is confidential to the public, the Parliament had accidentally live broadcasted about 50 minutes of the meeting before cutting off the feed.

Following this incident, the Parliament issued a directive to the media outlets that reported on the discussions, which sparked concern among local journalists and media outlets.

MJA, expressing concern with regards to the directive, called out the Parliament for its negligence in releasing the audio of confidential meeting in question as well as the subsequent attempt at having the articles removed.

“It is evident from the Parliament’s regulations that it is the responsibility of the Parliament to ensure the confidentiality of confidential committees and to withhold information. As such, this organisation does not believe that the Parliament can ask news outlets to remove published articles,” the statement by MJA reads.

Highlighting that while the live feed continued for nearly an hour, MJA also underscored that the Parliament also failed to instruct the media to not report on the discussions of the committee.

“… [S]hould any party have complaints regarding the content of articles published in the news, this organization believes that the way forward is by raising the matter with the Media Council,” MJA’s statement ended.

The 241 Committee in question was attended by Minister of Home Affairs Imran Abdullah, who spoke on the conflicts between Police Board and the Ministry.