26.11.2009 -

Maldives decriminalise defamation

The parliament of the Republic of Maldives has decriminalised the defamation laws through amendment of the Penal Code abolishing five articles providing for criminal defamation.

The Bill passed in parliament was part of the government's wider platform to enhance respect for freedom of expression.


The decriminalisation of defamation was also one of the recommendations of an <a href="ev.php?URL_ID=29319&URL_DO=DO_TOPIC&URL_SECTION=201">assessment of media development</a> in the country that was carried out jointly by UNESCO and ARTICLE 19, a human rights organization defending freedom of expression. The assessment was based on <a href="ev.php?URL_ID=26032&URL_DO=DO_TOPIC&URL_SECTION=201">UNESCO's Media Development Indicators</a> endorsed by the Intergovernmental Council of the International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC). It was launched in Maldives' capital Malé on 28 October 2009.


Many democracies around the world have decriminalised defamation to foster freedom of expression and the right to information.

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