Journalists voice concern as Maldives parliament orders inquiry into investigative report

Media groups in the Maldives, including the Maldives Journalist Association (MJA), have raised concern over a recent inquiry ordered by a parliament committee into an investigative report regarding the security details of Speaker Nasheed, reported Sun news

May 30, 2021
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Maldives parliament

Media groups in the Maldives, including the Maldives Journalist Association (MJA), have raised concern over a recent inquiry ordered by a parliament committee into an investigative report regarding the security details of Speaker Nasheed, reported Sun news.

Mihaaru, a local media outlet, citing sources within the country’s security establishment, published a story -- indicating that speaker Nasheed was indeed warned by security forces over its inability to provide him security at his current residential address. Nasheed, who had escaped an attack on himself days later, failed to heed the warning.

However, the ruling MDP, Nasheed’s own party, rejected the report, calling it “propaganda” to defame him. Later on Saturday, the Security Services Committee of parliament ordered an inquiry to look after the sources of the story within the Maldives National Defense Forces. 

However, the Maldives Journalist Association called the move -- to expose the journalistic sources of the investigative story-- concerning.  They said that the inquiry should not extend to the journalists or the media outlet. 

Reacting to the MDP statement--calling the story propaganda, the Editors Guild said, “We, therefore, find such statements condemning journalists instead of looking into the real issue to be an attempt to cast a shadow over the free press. And we find this deeply concerning.” 

On the other hand, the parliament committee argued that MNDF officers are prohibited from public disclosure of sensitive information they obtain in the discharge of their official duties. 

(SAM)