Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has called on Maldives Police Service to immediately release two journalists of Raajje TV, who were arrested during Friday night’s opposition protest, and the channel’s head of programming.
The organization issued a statement saying that the Maldivian government must respect the constitutional rights of all citizens to freedom of speech and “stop using the police to censor coverage of protests”.
It said that the police must immediately and unconditionally release the three journalists.
Mohamed Fazeen and Mohamed Wisam were arrested while they were covering the protest and Raajje TV’s head of programming, Amir Saleem, was arrested after a politician alleged that the channel made and uploaded to YouTube a video in which a group of masked people dressed like police said they planned to join the opposition rally, CPJ said.
It also said that police did not respond to its request for comment.
The politician who linked the video to Raajje TV was ruling Progressive Party of Maldives’ (PPM) parliamentary group leader Ahmed Nihan Hussain Manik.
In response to the allegation, Raajje TV took to Twitter to condemn it and urge the MP not to spread lies.