about us

Journalist charged under anti-terror law, sent to jail | SC restrains media from airing public comments in sub judice matters | Journalists hold protest rally against attacke on karachi press club | Plain-Clothed Armed Men Entered Into Karachi Press Club, Harass Journalists | 12 armed men attacked at office of a local Newspaper, Beat up its Crime Reporter |

Maldives Broadcasting Commission rejects RSF's World Press Freedom Index rankings 

Posted : 06:57 PM Oct 04,2018 by MARYAM
Serial Number : icpfj000154426

Maldives Broadcasting Commission rejects RSF's World Press Freedom Index rankings 

The country currently ranks at 120

5th October, 2018

The Maldives Broadcasting Commission (MBC) has rejected the rankings of The World Press Freedom Index of the media of the country by Reporters Without Borders (RSF). The statement was given by Broadcom’s president Mohamed Shaheeb at a press conference held on Thursday. Shaheeb noted that the Press Freedom Index is established 'without any input from the Commission.' The Maldives has fallen three places in the Reporters Without Borders’ annual press freedom index this year, after the murder of blogger Yameen Rasheed and further restrictions on the media. The country now ranks 120 out of 180 countries.

According to Shaheeb, the commission rejected the ranking because of RSF’s failure to obtain clarification from them, despite the commission being the parent body of all broadcasting stations of the country.

RSF also noted that the 2016 anti-defamation law was being used to intimidate and force to shut down of media outlets. According to this law, media outlets can be fined between MVR50,000 and MVR500,000 for a first offence and up to MVR2 million after the third offence.

Private broadcaster Raajje TV had been fined on four different occasions and had paid a total of MVR 3.7 million. Two other opposition-aligned stations Sangu TV and VTV were fined MVR100,000 and MVR400,000 in March this year.

Shaheeb, at Thursday’s press conference, also admitted that they have not been fair in their investigations into defamation complaints.

Reporters Without Borders emphasized that ‘this poisonous climate reinforces self-censorship.’ Journalists say they are now forced to practice self-censorship to avoid lawsuits or criminal prosecution.

Prior to the country’s first multi-party democratic election in 2008, the Maldives was ranked 104 – an improvement on its 2007 ranking of 129.

The country showed a dramatic improvement in press freedom for the first time in 2009 and 2010– including decriminalization of defamation under former President Mohamed Nasheed’s administration – rising to 51 and then 52 on the index.

The highest ranking that the Maldives reached on the World Press Freedom Index was 73 in 2011. However, the nation’s ranking has been on the fall ever since. The Maldives’ rankings on World Press Freedom Index over the past six years:

2013 – 103,  2014 – 108,  2015 – 112,  2016 – 112,   2017 – 117,   2018 – 120

The Maldives is now ranked between Nigeria and Angola on the 2018 index.

The highest ranked countries on the World Press Freedom Index this year are Norway, Sweden and Netherlands followed by Finland and Switzerland. North Korea, Eritrea and Turkmenistan were ranked as the worst performers.



ICPFJ is a strong advocate for the freedom of expression and works actively against biased journalism. The center is also committed to its mission against extremism and is part of the fight against oppressive or tyrannical regimes running the affairs of countries.
Please help further our cause by spreading the word about our work, mission and objectives.(ICPFJ)