President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has defended the very controversial decree issued by his administration, criminalizing the India Out movement.
The defense came in the Presidential press conference in response to a journalist’s question.
Freedom of expression, he said, was one of the tenets this administration treasured and, as such, there is no bar from the Government on expression.
“None of you have any bars on writing anything,” he said, in a bid to show the government’s stance on freedom of speech and press.
The decree stated that the India Out movement was a movement based on hate speech and hate directed against India, and as such, deemed a direct threat to national security by the third session of the National Security Council.
President Solih said the issue was tabled to the National Security Council by Maldives Police Service (MPS) and Maldives National Defense Force (MNDF). India Out movement was tabled in the Council because there were elements of national security in the matter, he said.
Clause 115 of the Constitution, he said, mandated him to protect rights, independence of all, protect national interests on a global platform, and setting agenda. He said his responsibilities were clear in the matter.
Citing that the National Security Council had highlighted that Indians and Indians living in Maldives were at risk and being defamed, Solih defended his decree. The decree itself would not hamper any rights granted to Maldivians under the constitution.