RSF seeks revision of Maldives law forcing journalists to reveal sources

Reporters Without Borders and other human rights organizations urge Maldives to revise a law compelling journalists to reveal sources, citing vague terms and lack of respect for freedom of expression. President Solih previously ignored a petition by 158 Maldivian journalists against the law.

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has joined nine other human rights organisations in calling on the government of the Maldives to repeal or amend a provision forcing journalists to reveal their sources. 

Article 136 of the reform of the Evidence Act, uses vague and overbroad terms such as “acts of terrorism” and “national security related crimes” when identifying instances where journalists can be compelled to disclose their sources.

The Act also mandates courts to decide, on a balance of probabilities, whether to order source disclosure. This fails to respect international standards for restrictions on freedom of expression, which rely on a three-part test requiring, among other things, any restriction to be “necessary”.

The signatories of this statement also note that President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih ignored a petition by 158 Maldivian journalists calling on him to refuse to sign the bill into law.