Maldives Police Service (MPS) has issued summons on Dhiyares Chief Editor and journalist, Ahmed Azaan Marzooq – not even 24 hours had passed since President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih had ratified the Evidence Act.
Azaan is being summoned to MPS for questioning on the expose written in Dhiyares over the loopholes in Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH) database. Dhiyares had reported that the loophole on the hospital’s website allowed unfettered access to personal medical records.
This was first reported to Dhiyares by an IT expert. As a result of this loophole, two years’ worth of private health records are now public, as shown by the expert.
Dhiyares had alerted the hospital when the case was first raised. The report on the issue was published only after all relevant agencies were alerted. While Dhiyares had alerted the public on the loophole, the paper took care not to publish details on how the backdoor can be accessed.
Azaan is to present himself to MPS on the 21st of this month. He is accused of having accessed the database and leaked health records of senior government officials.
Azaan has denied all the claims.
Under the new Evidence Act, journalists will be compelled to reveal their sources. In spite of having pledged freedom of press, the Solih administration had pushed ahead with the bill. The Act was fast tracked in Parliament, in spite of journalists and media rights bodies vocally protesting against the Act.