Gov't has no intention of assuring press freedom: MJA

The Maldives Journalists Association (MJA) has said that the government has no intentions to ensure press freedom in the Maldives. The association said in a statement following the ratification of the Evidence Bill, which requires journalists to disclose their source of their information, through the court.

MJA's statement said the association condemned President’s ratification of the bill ignoring the concerns raised regarding the amendment to Section 136 of the Evidence Bill in a petition signed by 158 journalists. MJA said the association also believes that this was an act of the government to restrict the constitutional right to freedom of expression, press freedom and the right of the people to be provided with accurate information.

"... This shows the lack of goodwill of the state agencies in ensuring freedom of the media. This association also notes and regrets that the Parliament and the government have acted in a very irresponsible manner in restricting a fundamental right guaranteed by the Constitution," the statement read.

The MJA said it would not stop its efforts to reverse the amendment of Article 136 of the Evidence Act.