Police: Journalist arrested for hitting police officer

Journalist from 'Avas' media being arrested by the police from the opposition protest on March 16, 2023 (Photo/MJA)

The journalist covering the protest outside the Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) headquarters in Male’ City on Thursday was arrested after he assaulted a police officer, according to the police.

The arrest of the Hussain Juman, a journalist for the online news outlet ‘Avas’, had sparked widespread condemnation, including from the Maldives Journalists Association (MJA).

Police said Saturday that he was arrested after he obstructed the arrest of a protestor and hit a police officer.

Juman was presented before the Criminal Court for his remand hearing on Friday.

Court documents show Juman presented video of the incident as evidence in his defense.

The court found no grounds to keep him detained and ordered his release.

In a statement Friday, MJA said they were deeply concerned that journalists covering the protests are being “constantly harassed and tortured” by the police.

The union called on the police and the government to ensure adequate security for journalists covering protests.

The opposition coalition, composed PPM and PNC, has been holding serial protests in Male’ following the money laundering conviction against former Maldivian president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom.