Maldives Journalists Association (MJA) has criticized and expressed concern after the Parliament of Maldives issued a directive to media institutions demanding the removal of an article.
The directive by the Parliament concerns articles that were published by local media outlets which reported on the discussions that took place during the Committee on National Security Services (241 Committee) meeting on Wednesday. Although this meeting is confidential to the public, the Parliament had mistakenly live broadcasted about 50 minutes of the meeting before cutting off the feed.
Following this blunder, the Parliament issued a directive to the media outlets that reported on the discussions, which sparked concern among local journalists and media outlets.
MJA, expressing concern with regards to the directive, called out the Parliament for its negligence in releasing the audio of the confidential meeting in question as well as the subsequent attempt at having the articles removed. MJA stated the responsibility of the Parliament to ensure the confidentiality of confidential committees and to withhold information. Moreover, MJA stated that it does not believe that the Parliament can order news outlets to remove published articles.
However, MJA noted that the Parliament did not request any news outlets not to report on the discussions made during the confidential meeting and such matters should have been raised with MJA itself. The 241 Committee in question was attended by Minister of Home Affairs Imran Abdullah, who spoke on the conflicts between the Police Board and the Ministry.