President calls on the Prosecutor General to make libel and defamation civil offences instead of criminal offences
Presidentâ€™s Office 03-05-2009
President Mohamed Nasheed has called
on the Prosecutor General to make defamation a civil offence instead of a
criminal offence. The President made this statement while speaking at a
function he hosted on the occasion of world press freedom day.
The President noted that the democracy and freedom of expression were at an
early phase in the Maldives. He also spoke on the importance of upholding the
right to information which is enshrined in the Constitution.
President Nasheed also said he believed that it was inappropriate for a government
to subsidies newspapers and that his government planned to stop subsidizing the
Speaking at the function, the President also said that criticizing the
government was not an issue and thanked all the local media. Furthermore, the
President said that we have now achieved greater press freedom and noted the
crucial role played by Dhivehiobeserver, Minivan Radio and Eâ€™ Sandhaanu in
achieving these freedoms.
President also said that about 60 percent of the populations support his
government but there were no pro-government local newspapers. He also said that
his government does not wish to change this by subsidizing the newspapers.