The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ)
deplores the decision by the police in the Republic of the Maldives to
summon two journalists for interrogation after their newspaper carried news of
a pornographic video racket operating in parts of the country.
Hamdhoon and Ismail Naseer, who researched and wrote the story in the
Dhivehi-language edition of the daily Haveeru, were summoned by police
in the capital Male and asked about the sources they had used and the content
of the allegedly pornographic videos. The story published on February 22 had
reported that the pornographic material was being circulated in a blackmail
operation that had entrapped several well-known figures.
reportedly obtained a warrant on February 24 to search the offices of Haveeru.
The warrant was not executed but the two journalists responsible were called to
police premises to answer questions about their story.
Journalists’ Association (MJA), an IFJ affiliate, strongly protested the police
summons issued to the journalists. The protection of sources is a part of the
provisions on media freedom in the Maldives constitution.
encouraged to learn that the two journalists turned down the police demand to
name sources,” IFJ Asia-Pacific
Director Jacqueline Park said.
Republic of the Maldives
sent out a strong positive signal by including the protection of media sources
in its basic law and it is important to see that this significant legal
provision is strengthened, not weakened, in practice.
“Anonymity of sources is a necessary protection for
journalists seeking to bring evidence of wrongdoing into the public domain. It
is well understood that anonymity cannot be used as a cover for putting out
wrong or malicious information, or for the protection of anybody involved in
information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific
on +612 9333 0919
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