The Edition
facebook icon twitter icon instagram icon linkedin icon


Maldives President ratifies Evidence Bill; enforceability on source revelation

Mohamed Rehan
19 July 2022, MVT 19:06
Local journalists protesting against the new Evidence Bill that grants courts to enforce source revelation in certain cases-- Photo: Nishan Ali | Mihaaru
Mohamed Rehan
19 July 2022, MVT 19:06

Amid continued protests by Maldives Journalist Association (MJA) the President of Maldives Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has ratified the Evidence Bill.

The concerns originate over a particular provision in the bill which grants courts the power to order journalists and media outlets to reveal their sources.

President's Office on Monday, July 18 confirms ratification of the bill which earlier approved at the Maldives Parliament on June 30.

The new Evidence Bill will not be implemented until six months from the date of its ratification.

The bill attracted stern criticism from local journalists and media outlets who called the presence of the provision granting courts to enforce source revelation, a regression from press freedom and freedom of expression.

The anti-Evidence Bill transitioned into a movement led by the MJA, with over 150 local journalists signing a petition demanding further reviewing of the bill.

The bill provides enforceability to local courts to demand journalists and media outlets to reveal source credentials to cases concerning national security and terrorism.

The bill has also proposed admissibility criteria of evidences for criminal and civil cases.

MJA claims the existence of the provision with ambiguity allows for courts and legal authorities to interpret the meaning to achieve outcomes to further the self-interest or exercise undue influence in favor of powerful individuals or entities.