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Two journalists among 23 arrested in continued MDP protests

Two journalists among 23 arrested in continued MDP protests thumbnail

Police arrested two journalists during continued protests by Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) supporters in Male’ today.  The Maldives Police Service later released the head of news for private TV station Raajje TV Asward Ibrahim Waheed a few hours after his arrest. Ali Naseer, a journalist from Cable News Maldives (CNM), continues to remain in police custody – though is expected to be released soon.

A police official confirmed to Minivan News this evening, that the journalists, who were carrying identification, had been temporarily apprehended for “taking part” in the demonstrations.

The two journalists are among a total of 23 people to have been arrested during protests conducted this week at Republican Square in Male’. The protests, which began yesterday involving a few hundred people, have continued into this evening.

The MDP has held frequent demonstrations calling for early elections alleging President Mohamed Nasheed was ousted in a coup d’état on February 7.

Speaking to Minivan News, journalist Asward Ibrahim Waheed claimed he was arrested by police while attempting to cover footage of police beating a protester. Video footage of Waheed’s arrest posted on the internet appears to show the journalist running towards a police officer and a man in plain clothes as they hold down and beat a protester on the ground. Several police officers then rush at and surround Waheed.

“They came at me and one police officer grabbed me by the neck. They then twisted by arm around and threw me to the ground,” Waheed told Minivan News.

“They were very verbally abusive. They said we have been waiting to get hold of a Raajje TV journalist, arrest him! I don’t have visible injuries, but my neck and arms hurt,” he said.

Rajje TV regularly broadcasts live footage of MDP protests.  The broadcaster’s journalists have previously accused police of physical assault and harassment following the transfer of power. Meanwhile, CEO of Raajje TV Akram Kamaldeen has claimed in local media that Tourism Minister Ahmed Adheeb assaulted him last Thursday (July 5).

Heckling

Minivan News today observed MDP members heckling police across temporary barricades erected at the Republican Square. Protesters mobbed several police and military officers on motorbikes as they attempted to drive through the crowd gathered at the barricades.

In an official statement, police said all the arrests made related to people breaking through police barricades and obstructing officers from their duty.

Police also alleged that protesters damaged the Auditor General’s car at 9:00am.

“We will take necessary action if the MDP continues to shout and disturb the peace after 12:00 am tonight,” police said.

In addition to the 23 people detained today during the protests, police yesterday arrested 18 individuals.

The MDP has subsequently released a statement condemning the arrests claiming police were arresting peaceful protesters and impeding freedom of expression and freedom of assembly.

“We call for the immediate release of all those arrested against the law,” the statement said.

The protest was continuing at time of press.

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19 Comments on "Two journalists among 23 arrested in continued MDP protests"

  1. Ahmed on Tue, 10th Jul 2012 12:54 AM 

    The old brutal dictatorship is back!

  2. ainth on Tue, 10th Jul 2012 4:16 AM 

    Same old MDP tactic. Send some MDP activist disguised as a ‘journalist’ from their propegenda wing. These individuals will then attack police, run through police line, shout filth, hinder police work untill the police arrest them. Then MDP will release press releases and tell the world that freedom of press is under attack and journalists are being arrested.

  3. me on Tue, 10th Jul 2012 4:22 AM 

    The ‘journalists’ were arrested after shouting “kaley ama fui” at the face of police officers.
    Is this the way journalists are supposed to act? I say they are not journalists, but activists from MDP disinformation office.

  4. RecycleBrah on Tue, 10th Jul 2012 4:47 AM 

    There is no need to be upset.

    When people become unruly and a nuisance to the general public and break the law. The proper authorities are allowed to make arrests.

    SSSSHHHH no tears, only dreams now.

  5. Abdulla Zayyid on Tue, 10th Jul 2012 7:18 AM 

    The good ol’ days of war is back!

  6. aleesha on Tue, 10th Jul 2012 8:40 AM 

    2 journalists arrested? my my….what is journalist association doing? hirigaa do u think you have done your job by bringing in the coup? Maldives Media Council- what do you do? we hear hirigaa,midhath and other old guards claiming to be journalists are now there…Maldives Broadcast comission, what are you doing? badru, isthiufaa dheefa geyga ovey, double wife

  7. kalhihi on Tue, 10th Jul 2012 10:20 AM 

    @ Ainth
    Same old MDP tactics?

    Its same old Gayoom regime back in power with its brutality and human rights abuse. Its a scary thing for a young democracy — for that matter any nation where human beings live!!
    Please be open and fair-minded!
    No civilized human being could, in their right mind, condone these extreme abuses of human dignity and acts of terrorism by the very people who are supposed to “protect and serve” us all!
    They are protecting their Baaghee bosses, attacking the public with impunity, whilst Supreme Court and Prosecutor General are sleeping!!!

  8. kalhihi on Tue, 10th Jul 2012 10:21 AM 

    Dear Minivan News editor,
    Please introduce a like/dislike/abuse button on this comment/discussion board so that the readers can have greater participation and be able to read and rate others opinions!

  9. mode on Tue, 10th Jul 2012 11:03 AM 

    Those were not journalists but rather activists from MDP. Why other journalists were not arrested.

    In reality ” Rajje TV” is not doing any responsible journalism in this country and rather acting like a MDP propaganda machine .

    Rajje TV need to learn to telecast the true unbiased information to public and not mere lies.

    90% of their news are lies and only 10% is true .

  10. Egon on Tue, 10th Jul 2012 11:45 AM 

    Mode , what do you think about VTV n Dhitv ? They are pure breed of journalists ?? Hehe . Gayyooms puppets

  11. me on Tue, 10th Jul 2012 11:50 AM 

    @ kalhihi
    nasheed regime is no better than gayyoom regime.

  12. tsk tsk on Tue, 10th Jul 2012 12:20 PM 

    RaajjeTV, DhiTV and VTV need to be reign in.

    RaajjeTV appears to be the worst out of the bunch because of their poor funding, laughable management and weak resource-strength.

    Also RaajjeTV is currently the opposition-channel, hence forced to air questionable commentary from biased sources (similar to DhiTV and VTV in some instances even now) and also cover (meaning encourage) political rallies and the like.

  13. CitizenInformed on Tue, 10th Jul 2012 4:08 PM 

    The so-called journalists were acting in a very unjournalistic manner, shouting filth at Police, swearing, and using foul language. They actually werent journalists but hardcore MDP activists in disguise, with no-journalism background. The main aim of these disguised journalists who knew nothing about journalism was to provoke police by verballly assaulting and shouting filth at Police (insulting their Mothers and relatives), and trying to obstruct Police in every way possible so that they would get arrested and MDP could proclaim to the country “Look look, Police are now arresting journalists now”. What crap. Just because the MDP movement is losing momentum and the number of participants in their marches are dwindling, they are organising these pathetic attacks on Police so that Police will strike back in anger. The old “throw a brick at a Police guys face, wait for Police guy to arrest the MDP activist who throws bricks, video the arrest and show it on RaajjeTV under the Headline ” POLICE ARREST PEACEFUL PASSERBY WHO WAS NOT THROWING ANY STONES BRUTALLY “. MDP is seriously losing credibility with these pathetic stunts.

  14. shimy on Tue, 10th Jul 2012 4:15 PM 

    how fake was this asward from rajje(bodu dhogu)TV.the police was just withholding his hands and this fake aswards mouth was all over the place. ma heehee halaakuwi. And anyways Police has the right to use force to anyone trying to show that he is above the law. i think this is a stunt from Seyku Anni and his Gamaaru party to gain attention as they have been quiet for some time. i feel pity for these seyku people.
    PS: and what a crowd it was. today also i saw these seyku MDP loyalists commanding the Traffic for only about 60 or 70 supporters.Tsk Tsk

  15. shimy on Tue, 10th Jul 2012 5:01 PM 

    last night, saw Maria “Angahadi” didi preaching to the police. mind you, it was the biggest joke of the century. at one point, the old hag becomes a preacher(actually she does’t even know how to preach as she shouts filth so much)and at other times she’s like an old witch coming to suck you dry. i say, what right does gamaaru MDP cronies have to make this ‘handi’ a mother of the nation. she can be the biggest witch of the nation along with pro shiuna and drug bo Meena saleem.and have seen meena saleem on drugs when i was in school if you don’t believe!!

  16. mode on Tue, 10th Jul 2012 6:06 PM 

    nothing this MDP thugs will believe except the power. These seik Anni had got the feel of ” King” and now his hunger to rob this country is at at climax.

    Seik Anni and his touts can go and live on a virgin Island and called themselves ” Other Maldivian” and Seik Anni to be the president there.

  17. AM on Tue, 10th Jul 2012 6:22 PM 

    I thought Minivan is more mature than to use a doctored picture.The video of the same scene as in the picture shows something totally different.

  18. Mohamed on Wed, 11th Jul 2012 9:18 AM 

    Minivan news, it would if you could go and read how you have covered protests during the president Nasheed administration. what a double standard.wehen Anni was the president protests are rarely covered and if they were covered its written favorably to govt.
    Police should not attack journalists and Minivan should distort the facts

  19. Hawwa on Sat, 11th Aug 2012 2:58 AM 

    I think you should reconsider the truthfulness of this news since the Ali Naseer, “a journalist from Cable News Maldives (CNM), continues to remain in police custody” is totally false!! Ali Naseer was’nt the journaist who was arrested from CNM and the full form of CNM is not Cable News Maldives. It is Channel News Maldives!! So i think before minivan news publishes something on the news you should reallyy consider finding out whether the information you are writing is true or false!!
    Thank you!!


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