IFJ concerned over hostility against media in MaldivesJanuary 21st, 2012 - 4:25 pm ICT by IANS
Male, Jan 21 (IANS) The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has expressed concern over the recent escalation of hostile rhetoric towards media in the Maldives.
IFJ joined its affiliate, the Maldives Journalists’ Association (MJA), in expressing concern over the recent escalation of hostile rhetoric towards the media in the Republic of Maldives, the IFJ stated on its website asiapacific.ifj.org.
“The IFJ calls on President (Mohammed) Nasheed and ministers of the Maldives government to cease the hostile rhetoric and respect the ethical and legal imperatives of media freedom,” it added.
On Jan 11, Mohamed Zuhair, press secretary to President Nasheed, had warned of criminal action against media that spread allegedly “baseless and demonstrably false” claims about government actions.
Following Zuhair’s statement, the Maldives Minister for Transport and Communication, Adhil Saleem, publicly declared Jan 20 that broadcast stations suspected of “misleading the public” could have their licences revoked.
Contesting the allegations, the Maldives Journalists’ Association argued that the media were at liberty to report statements made by responsible opposition politicians, even when time constraints did not permit detailed fact-checking.
Under the Maldives law, the grant and renewal of broadcast licences is within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Maldives Broadcasting Commission, an autonomous and non-partisan body. Licences once granted cannot be revoked except through due process of law.
IFJ Asia-Pacific works with national journalists’ unions and associations to improve the working conditions of journalists and the quality of journalism through training programmes and advocacy campaigns in defence of media-related rights.
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Tags: advocacy campaigns, broadcast licences, broadcast stations, due process of law, escalation, exclusive jurisdiction, government actions, ifj, imperatives, international federation of journalists, journalists association, maldives law, media freedom, mja, nasheed, opposition politicians, press secretary, republic of maldives, time constraints, zuhair