The main opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) has voiced serious concerns about the state of press freedom in the country. In a statement released on World Press Freedom Day, the MDP expressed apprehensions over the recent actions of President Mohamed Muizzu’s government and called for immediate action to address these concerns.

In the statement, the party highlighted the blocking of two news websites critical of the government, organised dissemination of misinformation through official channels over the past six months, and the sudden change in rules of the President’s Office prohibiting journalists from carrying mobile devices into press conferences as systemic attempts to obstruct freedom of the press.

The MDP further accused the Muizzu administration of reneging on its promise of transparency and proactive information sharing with the media. Instead, the party alleges that the administration has been withholding information, fostering a culture of secrecy, and obstructing the freedom of the press and media.

The party expressed concern over the recent surge in threats and intimidation targeting newspapers, TV stations, and individual journalists, and urged the relevant authorities to take these threats seriously, conduct thorough investigations, and take appropriate action.

On the occasion of World Press Freedom Day, the MDP extended greetings to all members of the press and extended gratitude to all journalists who are working hard to bring the truth to the public despite facing threats and obstacles imposed by the government. The party expressed hope that reporters would continue their courageous work and remain committed to robust journalism in the future.

The MDP also stated that it firmly believes that freedom of the press is a fundamental right that should be protected, and journalists and the press should be afforded the broadest possible freedoms under the law. The party called on the Muizzu administration to cease any actions hindering press freedom and uphold this fundamental right, emphasising its crucial role in a democratic society.

The party further reassured that it will continue to strengthen its advocacy for the rights of journalism and journalists in the future and protect the freedom of speech and press guaranteed by the Constitution.