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Maldivian police pictured at a protest in the capital, Malé, on March 2. Three Raajje TV journalists are detained over their coverage of anti-government protests held on March 16. (AFP/Ahmed Shurau)

In Maldives, at least three journalists detained over protest coverage

March 16, 2018 4:47 PM ET

New York, March 16, 2018--The Committee to Protect Journalists called on Maldivian authorities to immediately release three Raajje TV journalists who, according to their pro-opposition station, were detained today over their coverage of anti-government protests in the capital, Malé.

"The government in the Maldives must respect the constitutional rights of all citizens to freedom of speech and stop using the police to censor coverage of protests," said CPJ Deputy Executive Director Robert Mahoney. "Police must immediately and unconditionally release the three Raajje TV journalists."

Police are detaining reporters Mohamed Fazeen and Mohamed Wisam, who were arrested while covering the protests, and Amir Saleem, the station's head of programming, according to Raajje TV. Saleem was arrested after a politician alleged that Raajje TV made and uploaded to YouTube a video in which a group of masked people dressed like police said they planned to join the anti-government rally, according to reports.

The Maldives Police Commission superintendent did not immediately respond to CPJ's request for comment.

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