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Police clarify reasons behind journalist's arrest at opposition protest

18 March 2023, MVT 13:02
Hussain Juman, a video journalist for 'Avas' news, after being released from police custody on 17th March 2023 --
18 March 2023, MVT 13:02

The Maldives Police Service on Saturday clarified that the journalist had to be arrested from the opposition rally on Thursday for obstructing the police from performing their duties and because he had assaulted an officer.

Hussain Juman, a journalist from 'Avas' news, was arrested during the protest in Malé while he was wearing a press identification. He was released on Friday evening at around 4:30 p.m., his lawyer, Adam Asif, corroborated.

The lawyer said he had sustained some injuries and that his phone was damaged.

The police tweeted on Saturday that the journalist was arrested after he hit a police officer who was trying to take a protestor into custody.

He was released after he was taken to the Criminal Court yesterday for a decision on his remand. However, the police are still investigating the matter, the authority said.

Upon his release, Juman's lawyer said that three police officers had testified against him but noted that the court had released him without any conditions.

The opposition rally was dispersed by the police's Special Operations (SO) unit.

The Maldives Journalists Association (MJA) issued a statement on Friday condemning the arrest. The association called on the police and the government to ensure the safety of journalists covering the rallies.

There has been an increase in activities that violate the rights of the media, with eight cases being reported this year thus far, MJA said.

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