MMC condemns police brutality against journalists reporting opposition protest

Injured journalists during 19 September 2021 protest coverage | Photo: Riseupmv

Malé, Maldives – The Maldives Media Council (MMC), today, condemned the police brutality and use of excessive force against journalists covering the opposition protest last night.

The statement released by the MMC state that multiple media have submitted photographic, videographic evidence and statements indicating excessive use of force causing injuries to journalists reporting last night’s protest.

A majority of journalists who covered last night’s protest told MJA that police continuously obstructed journalists and media workers and showed a blatant disregard to the protection entitled to them, ignoring press accreditations and passes.

Maldives Journalist Association

The MMC reminded that no party has the right to cause harm or prohibit journalists who are performing their professional duty. As it is their constitutional duty to protect and create a safe environment for journalists, the media council also called on the relevant authorities to investigate last nights police brutality.

The council also reminded journalists to adhere to the police orders while covering protests and carry their media passes in addition to the passes issued by the Maldives Broadcasting Commission at all times. MMC also urged the media to follow Chapter 10 of the Freedom of Peaceful Assembly Act, Maldives (Act No. 1/2013).

Video: Maldives Police using excessive force against journalist | Source: Tweeted by Ihusans on September 19, 2021.

The Channel 13 journalist, pictured above, received injuries to the head while journalists from various media received different levels of injuries according to reports.

Last night, photos and videos circulated on social media of the Special Operations Division of Maldives Police using excessive against opposition PPM-PNC protesters who took to the streets of Male’ against the Government, under the title “Alhuvethikamaa Dhekolhah”. The shared media showed media personnel were indiscriminately targeted.

The protest was organized against the issues originating from state children’s shelter “Fiyavathi” during the past few days.