Vice President Faisal Naseem has stated that as we speak about freedom of the press, we must make sure that we are utilizing this freedom in the best way and urged journalists to continue to do honest work and disperse factual news. He made this remark while speaking at the ceremony held at the National Art Gallery this evening, to commemorate this year’s International Press Freedom Day.
During the event, the Vice President emphasized that the past few years have dimmed journalism in the country and stated that Maldivian journalists took on their duty along with countless challenges surrounded by a grave fear. However, he stated that Maldivian journalists have proved themselves by carrying out their duties, despite the distress and expressed gratitude to all the Maldivian journalists for their act of bravery.
Speaking at the event, the Vice President also stated that press freedom is one of the most important components of full-fledged democracy and further stated that the reality is that a country will not flourish without the freedom of the press and the stability in a country.
Moreover, Vice President stated that while the Media Council is responsible for ensuring an independent environment for media, the transparency of media agencies, and their compliance with the country’s rule of law, it also falls upon the Media Council to maintain press freedom in the country. He also stated that they must also ensure that those working in the media adhere to the ethics and principles of journalism responsibly.
During the ceremony, the Vice President also stated that this administration will continue to support and assist the Media Council in carrying out all its duties. He also recalled that one of the first official duties President Solih undertook following his assumption of office was to revoke the Defamation Act and reinstating true freedom of expression for journalists.
Speaking in this regard, the Vice President stated that the improvement of the Maldives’ ranking in the Press Freedom Index published by Reporters Without Borders is proof of how much journalism has prospered in the country since this administration came into office.
Furthermore, speaking during the ceremony Vice President stated that as we celebrate the Press Freedom Day, it is our obligation to revive the memories of Ahmed Rilwan of Minivan News, who was forcefully disappeared and internet blogger Yameen Rasheed who was brutally murdered. He also stated that the fact that they are not here with us today causes much grief and sorrow to the “Maldives’ Press Family” and that it is his hope that those behind these inhumane acts are found and revealed as soon as possible.