On Thursday, during the protest outside the Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) headquarters in Male’ City, a journalist covering the event was arrested for allegedly assaulting a police officer, according to the police. The journalist in question was Hussain Juman, who works for the online news outlet ‘Avas.’ His arrest caused widespread criticism, including from the Maldives Journalists Association (MJA).
According to the police, Juman obstructed the arrest of a protestor and hit a police officer, leading to his arrest on Saturday. Juman was presented before the Criminal Court for his remand hearing on Friday, where he presented a video of the incident as evidence in his defense. The court, however, found no grounds to keep him detained and ordered his release.
The MJA issued a statement on Friday expressing their concern over the harassment and mistreatment of journalists covering the protests. The union called on the police and the government to provide adequate security for journalists covering such events.
The opposition coalition, consisting of the PPM and PNC, has been holding a series of protests in Male’ following the money laundering conviction of former Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom.