The Maldives has gone down five rankings in the 2017 World Press Freedom Index compiled by Reporters Without Borders.
According to the annual index which analyses the freedom of information across 180 countries in the world, the Maldives is currently ranked 117. The island nation was ranked 112 in 2015.
The highest ranking that the Maldives attained on the World Press Freedom Index was 73 in 2011. However, the nation’s ranking has been on the decline ever since.
Reporters Without Borders stated that independent and opposition media are being persecuted in the Maldives even five years after the regime of Former President Mohamed Nasheed fell in February 2012.
It highlighted the Defamation and Freedom of Speech Act passed by the Maldivian parliament in August 2016, which gives authorities the power to shut down media outlets that publish or broadcast “defamatory” content.
“Many Maldivian journalists say they have been the targets of death threats. According to a report by the Maldives Broadcasting Corporation (MBC), political parties are the leading source of these threats to journalists, followed by criminal gangs and religious extremists. This poisonous climate reinforces self-censorship,” said the association.
Reporters Without Borders also denoted the disappearance of journalist Ahmed Rilwan who has been missing for over two years. The association declared that the authorities’ refusal to investigate his disappearance “speaks to the climate of violence and impunity in which journalists operate” in the Maldives.
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Source URL: Mihaaru-News