Malé, Maldives – Maldives Police Service said that they accidentally arrested a journalist while arresting protesters from Le Souq Cafe at yesterday’s opposition protest, and that they released that individual as soon as it came to their attention that he is a journalist.
According to the police, the protesters used offensive language and profanities at the police and obstructed them from doing their job at yesterday’s protest. When asked to evacuate the area, some protesters then entered the Le Souq Cafe. The police forcefully removed the protesters from the café and the Deputy Head of Channel 13 was mistaken for a protester and arrested.
A video of the scene now publicised shows four journalists of Channel 13 sitting at a table when the police entered the café. The journalist had an identification card attached to his front pocket showing that he is a journalist and many people were also heard shouting that he is from the media. However, the officers barged in and arrested the individual. The video shows the police forcefully taking the journalist down the stairs.
Regarding the situation, police further said that the protesters and the journalist tried to create chaos at the scene when asked to leave. The police maintains that the journalist purposefully fell onto the floor directly disobeying the police and that this behaviour was not expected from a journalist.
In addition to this, police said that the department tries their best to ensure that media covering protests and other such events have the best possible atmosphere to carry out their jobs. The police noted that they expect journalist to behave accordingly and make sure that their actions do not obstruct the way of the police.