Police in the Maldives on Sunday used tear gas and pepper spray against journalists protesting the country’s lack of press freedom also arresting, at least, eleven demonstrators.
Fifty protestors rallied near the president’s office against the government’s move to criminalize defamation as well as other measures set to be taken against the media. President Yameen Abdul Gayoom along with his ruling party presented a bill in parliament that would impose heavy fines and jail terms for defamation.
Protesters said that along with these new terms against press freedom, the government has suspended publication of the Maldives’ oldest newspaper.
Ibrahim Hussain Shihab, a government spokesman told reporters the protest were broken up due to demonstrations conducted at a protected zone near the president’s office and also stating that protesters scaled the barricades.