Maldives immigration will impose more stringent regulations for screening foreign journalists visiting the Maldives.
In a statement, the immigration department Tuesday said visiting foreign journalists, photographers and videographers would face security screening before entry visas are issued. Foreign journalists would now be required to submit a completed security form when applying for a business visa or a work permit, the statement read.
The move to tighten security screening for foreign journalists comes in the wake of an imminent documentary on mass corruption in the island nation by Al Jazeera.
Created by the Emmy and BAFTA winning Al Jazeera’s Investigative Unit, the documentary would be released on August 30, 2016 at the Royal Society of Arts in London.
The invitation for the release of the documentary, titled ‘Stealing Paradise’ has been opened publicly.
The invitation card claims that “Al Jazeera has uncovered new evidence of corruption, theft and abuse of power. The award winning investigative team reveals how a president hijacked a nation and millions of dollars were stolen”.
Government had said it had been unaware of the documentary until the invitation began circulating on social media.
The hugely anticipated documentary is believed to have been made on the largest embezzlement of state funds in the history of the tiny island nation which has been heavily linked to president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom.
Late last month, two foreign journalists were detained and subsequently deported over what the immigration described was for tourist visa violation.
The Polish free-lance journalist and her Italian husband were on vacation in the Maldives and had been photographing an opposition rally when they were taken in by police.
A top government lawmaker had alleged that the couple were working for Al Jazeera and had helped in the making of the documentary.
In November last year, four journalists from German public broadcaster ARD were deported citing ‘improper permits’. The crew was reportedly shooting a documentary that included stories on the political situation and religious extremism.