Speaker of the Parliament Mohamed Nasheed has indicated that the parliament would pass the new Evidence Bill as it is despite concerns by local journalists about the proposed legislation.

This comes after local journalists staged a protest outside the parliament today, against the passing of the bill in its current form.

Maldives Journalism Association MJA had said that the protest was staged to voice concerns over the parliament's plans to move ahead with the "source disclosure" provisions in the Evidence Bill— without incorporating comments from MJA and Maldives Media Council MMC to ensure safeguards are in place to prevent abuse of these provisions.

But speaking to the journalists outside the parliament, Speaker Nasheed indicated that there was little the parliament could now do to further amend the bill.

Nasheed said that journalists should know how the procedure worked at the legislative house with the bill read once and twice at the parliament.

Journalists talking to MP Saeed at the protest against the new evidence bill/ Photo: Dhauru news

He further assured that no MP would refuse to heed the journalists' concerns but the recommendations from the reporters were submitted too late. Nasheed said that the parliament had its own regulations and indicated that the bill would be passed.

Nasheed said what the parliament can now do is bring another amendment once the bill has been passed as the Evidence Bill is very vast and it took around 6 to 7 months to reach this point. He added that the parliament would be willing to consider the journalists' concerns when amending the bill once it is passed.

The Speaker also said that if the journalists had anticipated the parliament's work and proposed their concerns in a timely manner, these concerns would have been addressed. Nasheed said that journalists should know how to raise concerns on an issue and how such concerns are shared with the parliament.

He invited the journalists to work within the procedures of the parliament to bring the amendments to the bill in the next parliamentary session.