Journalists facing danger, says human rights watchdog

Journalists in the Maldives face many challenges, dangers, and loss of freedom due to their role or expression of views, the state human rights watchdog has said.

The Human Rights Commission of Maldives (HRCM) observed that the Maldives fell four ranks in the Reporters Without Borders’ press freedom index for 2015 to 112th place.

“The commission has previously noted that Maldivian journalists face death threats and intimidation and that the Maldivian state has to work to establish an environment where journalists can operate freely,” the commission said in a statement issued today on the occasion of World Press Freedom Day.

Journalists should be able to report information on issues of concern “truthfully, sincerely, and without fear”.

The commission urged the media to act responsibly and respect basic rights and societal norms in providing information.

Journalists should take special care when reporting on issues involving persons with special needs, children, and vulnerable groups, the commission advised.

The commission called on all state institutions to ensure a safe environment for reporting and provide information with ease.

In a tweet with the World Press Day hashtag, Vice president Dr Mohamed Jameel meanwhile said today that “we must applaud the role of journalists & free press in establishing a fair democratic society.”