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Freedom of speech now used for national development: President Solih

Mariyam Malsa
10 December 2019, MVT 17:28
President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih speaking at the ceremony held to commemorate International Human Rights Day, PHOTO: NISHAN ALI/ MIHAARU
Mariyam Malsa
10 December 2019, MVT 17:28

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, on Tuesday, stated that Maldivians now used the previously deprived right to freedom of speech for national development.

Speaking at the ceremony held to commemorate International Human Rights Day, President Solih expressed that freedom of speech was crucial according to general social principles and necessary for citizens to hold the government accountable.

"In my opinion, no government operating in the interest of the people would hesitate to ensure freedom of expression. It is certainly not something I fear".

Declaring that the incumbent administration has facilitated free speech and media, the president remarked that public discourse and criticism concerning policies served to encourage the government.

According to President Solih, compared to frequent grievances expressed against the previous government, citizens now discussed how to resolve issues.

Furthermore, President Solih guaranteed that the Human Rights Commission of Maldives (HRCM) would be allowed to operate independently under the current administration.

Noting that although HRCM was established to oversee crucial work, President Solih stated that the commission was unable to perform as expected in recent years, possibly as a result of government leaders exerting undue influence.

Stating that a government's greatest responsibility was to protect the human rights of its citizens, President Solih asserted that people would have no confidence in a government that violated its own constitution.

He went on to assert that every citizen was assured of all rights guaranteed in the Maldivian constitution and that government institutions and the judiciary must be reformed for the purpose.

Additionally, the president highlighted that one of the government's highest priorities at the global level is currently advocacy for environmental conservation.

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