SO officer penalized for shoving reporter

A police officer has been suspended from frontline duties for shoving a reporter who was covering the opposition coalition’s sit-in at the Republic Square on Thursday, leading him to fall down on the ground.

The opposition’s sit-in at the Republic Square on Thursday evening had been covered by a large number of reporters, who were obstructed by the police.

Commissioner of Police Mohamed Hameed confirmed one of the police officers involved in breaking up the gathering has been suspended from frontline duties pending an internal investigation.

Videos of the incident show a police officer stop a cameraman from SanguTV from recording, and shove him, leading him, and a reporter from the same TV station who was next to him, to fall down on the ground.

More officers from the Special Operations are seen obstructing other reporters from recording the incident, and force them away from the area.

The police made multiple arrests in the incident, including of four MPs from the opposition Progressive Congress Coalition; Maduvvari MP Adam Shareef Umar, Naifaru MP Ahmed Shiyam, Maavah MP Mohamed Saeed, and Mahibadhoo MP Ahmed Toriq.

The police also reportedly detained Male’ City councilors Ibrahim Shujau and Ahmed Ifan, along with other members of the coalition.

According to police, they were arrested for staging a protest in a restricted zone, for obstructing the police from performing their duty, and for failure to comply with orders from the police.

The main opposition party, the Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) has condemned the arrests, and has called for their immediate release.