Wednesday 24th Jul 2024
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Maldivian Government Cracks Down on Freedom of Expression with Arrest of Channel 13 CEO

On the evening of January 8th, Ahmed Samaah, the CEO of Channel 13, was arrested by the Maldives Police Service while covering a protest held by the opposition PPM.
Samaah, who was wearing media credentials at the time, stated that he was at the protest in order to ensure that the event was able to be smoothly live-streamed by Channel 13. Despite Samaah's explanation, the Criminal Court ordered him to be placed under house arrest from 6:00 PM to 6:00 AM for 30 days.
This is not the first time that the Maldives police have harassed journalists covering protests. In 2021, two crew members of Channel 13 were arrested while at a café. The Maldives Broadcasting Commission, the regulatory body for TV stations, has yet to comment on the recent arrest of Samaah.
The Maldivian government, led by President Solih, has been criticized for its growing intolerance towards fundamental freedoms such as freedom of expression and assembly. NGO's working for the rights of journalists have remained silent on the issue, as these organizations are controlled by the government.