Bill to abolish Anti-Defamation Act sent to Committee

North Henveyru MP Abdulla Shahid speaks to press outside People's Majlis on October 25, 2018. (Sun Photo)

The Bill to abolish the contentious Anti-Defamation Act has been accepted into the People’s Majlis and sent to Committee on Independent Institutions for evaluation.

The Bill was submitted to People’s Majlis by North Henveyru MP Abdulla Shahid.

The Bill was accepted into the Majlis this Monday afternoon with 48 votes for, and 17 votes against.

Speaking to press before submitting the Bill to the Majlis on October 25, Shahid said the Anti-Defamation Act infringes on basic rights guaranteed by the Maldivian Constitution.

“The application of Anti-Defamation and Freedom of Expression Act has led to legal inconsistencies,” said Shahid.

Shahid said the Act also contradicted with international treaties signed by the Maldives and legal practices and principles.

He said once the Act is abolished, a regulation on compensation for defamatory actions will be established and applied once more.

Anti-Defamation Act was passed in 2016 despite widespread protest by the press which saw it as a blow to freedom of expression and freedom of speech guaranteed by the Constitution.