International Federation of Journalists condemns recent police harassment of journalists

"India Out" protest held in March 2022 | Photo: Sun Photo/Naail Hussain

Malé, Maldives – The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and its affiliate in the Maldives, the Maldives Journalist Association (MJA), on Tuesday, condemned the alleged police harassment of journalists during the ‘India Out’ protest on May 18. IFJ urged the government to investigate the case and bring the perpetrators to justice.

The statement by IFJ stated that Several Maldivian media and media rights organisations have criticised the recent attacks on journalists at ‘India Out’ protests. Maldives Media Council (MMC) condemned the reported harassment from police and called for investigation into the incident.

“Harassment and threats to journalists in the field contravene the right to freedom of expression enshrined in the Maldives’ constitution,” read the IFJ statement.

Journalists must be allowed to operate in the field without fear of attack or persecution. The IFJ urges the Maldivian government to act swiftly to investigate the case and arrest the perpetrators.

The IFJ’s South Asia Press Freedom Report 2021-22, recorded just two media rights violations in the Maldives from May 1, 2021 to April 30, 2022, but noted a legacy of interference in media regulators and a history of impunity for crimes against journalists.