Maldives | Freedom House

Freedom of the Press



Freedom of the Press 2002

2002 Scores

Press Status

Not Free

Press Freedom Score
(0 = best, 100 = worst)


Political Environment
(0 = best, 40 = worst)


Economic Environment
(0 = best, 30 = worst)


The penal code bans speech and publications that could "arouse people against the government." The law authorizes officials to shut down newspapers and sanction journalists for insulting Islam, threatening national security, or libel. Regulations make editors responsible for the content of their publications. Journalists consequently practice self-censorship. No banning of newspapers or imprisonment of journalists was reported in 2001. Most major media outlets are owned by the government or its allies, although they do criticize officials at times. Newspapers such as the daily Aafathis criticize government policy. The state-run television news and public affairs programs discuss timely issues and criticize government performance. That station and the state-run Voice of the Maldives radio station are the only broadcast media.