Editors Guild Maldives is concerned by attempts to reprimand Dhiyares and the Maldives Journal for publishing a report on the Deputy High Commissioner of India in Maldives.
A statement released by the guild today stated that as news published in Maldives are in accordance with the regulations and Constitution of Maldives, the Indian High Commission may express its discontent to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the ministry may request relevant authorities to investigate the matter.
Highlighting that the Indian High Commission did present the matter to the Foreign Ministry, the guild claimed that the Deputy Indian High Commissioner contacting the Chair of the Parliamentary Committee on Independent Institutions Rozaina Adam to investigate the matter was a violation of Article 41 of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.
The Editors Guild considered such contact an attempt to influence domestic matters, which is a violation of the Vienna Convention, as it was clear that the diplomat directly contacted Rozaina.
The guild further stated that Rozaina's request to the Maldives Media Council (MMC) to investigate the matter, prompted by the Deputy Indian High Commissioner, was undemocratic. Summoning the MMC to the parliamentary committee without adequate time to investigate was also considered a direct influence on the council.
Claiming that a matter meant to be investigated by the MMC was reported to and being investigated by police is also highly concerning, said the guild. They requested concerns regarding reports published by media to be dealt with by the Media Council. Using one's authority to influence a matter is not a civil manner, and the guild stated that Maldives also considers it as uncivil.
The Editors Guild advised the media not to report baseless information and to abide by best practices. They also appealed to journalists and media to consider article 29 of the Vienna Convention when reporting on foreign diplomats.