The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has condemned the recent assault of two journalists, Hassan Shaheed and Ahmed Misbaah, by Maldives police officers during a protest on 5th February 2023 in the capital of Maldives. According to reports, both journalists were injured while covering the protest held by the opposition Progressive Party of Maldives. Shaheed has been airlifted abroad for further medical treatment.
The CPJ's Asia program coordinator, Beh Lih Yi, has called for an investigation into the incident and for the police officers responsible to be held accountable. "Police must respect the right of journalists to freely and safely report on events of public interest ahead of the upcoming presidential election in September," said Lih Yi.
Transparency Maldives, a local watchdog organization, has also condemned the police's aggressiveness and undue use of force on protesters. The incident raises concerns about the safety of journalists and the freedom of the press in the Maldives ahead of the September presidential election.
The CPJ is calling for an immediate investigation into the assault and for the Maldives authorities to ensure the safety of journalists and their ability to freely report on events of public interest. The attack on Shaheed and Misbaah highlights the importance of press freedom and the role of journalists in providing the public with critical information.
The incident has sparked international outrage and calls for the Maldives authorities to take action to protect journalists and ensure press freedom in the country.