The Ministry of Gender, Family, and Social Services has taken action against four local news sites for publishing stories on a 13-year-old boy’s death that included personal details about the victim.
According to local news reports, the gender ministry penalized only one news outlet, Avas Online, MVR 2,000 for unprofessional reporting. In addition to this, the gender ministry issued a warning to three additional news outlets: Vaguthu, One Online, and Adhadhu.
In their reportage, some local news sites released various personal details about the 13-year-old, including images and facts about his family issues, as well as a detailed description of the deceased body.
Following that, the gender ministry wrote to news outlets, stating that action would be taken under the country’s child protection rules for releasing personal information on the 13-year-old on social media.
The letter also claimed that the reporting was deplorable in terms of children’s rights and was illegal under the child protection laws.
Posting facts exposing a child’s identity or releasing a picture of a child by any media is illegal under the country’s child protection laws.
Police reported the murder of a 13-year-old boy in the early hours of Tuesday morning. The boy’s body was located in the lagoon of Hulhumale’ Phase II area.
The authorities also confirmed the boy was reported missing by his family on Sunday and they were investigating it as a possible kidnapping. Furthermore, two arrests have been made in connection with the investigation thus far, a 17-year-old and a 27-year-old male.