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Maldives has jumped 22 ranks higher in the annual Press Freedom Index compiled by Reporters Without Borders. This is the first time in the past 6 years, Maldives have seen such remarkable improvements in its score.
While the rankings compiled by Reporters Without Borders consisted of 180 countries, Maldives is listed at 98. Last year, Maldives was listed as 120 which makes this year's score 22 ranks higher than that of last year.
As highlighted by Reporters Without Borders, Maldives fell steadily in the World Press Freedom Index under President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom, from 103rd in 2013 to 120th in 2018. However, Reporters Without Borders said President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih assuming office in November 2018 raised hopes, as he had made some specific pledges on improving press freedom in Maldives.
The Paris-based international non-profit organisation stated the controversial Anti-Defamation Law was repealed in November, which showed encouraging results. While Maldives jumped 22 ranks higher, the government acknowledged the achievement. In this regard, Policy Secretary at President's Office Aminath Shauna said the achievements show how much press freedom is ensured in the country. She highlighted press freedom is critical for democratic governance and a key pledge of President Solih.