Police intervenes to protect two journos threatened over F. Atoll project

Police had been forced to intervene and provide protection for two journalists from the opposition aligned online newspaper Maldives Independent who were threatened during a trip to Faafu Atoll Nilandhoo island to seek public opinion over the controversial Saudi led mega project in the Atoll.

The journalists, Hassan Mohamed and Hassan Moosa both were placed under protective custody just before midnight on Wednesday and were allowed to leave around 10:15 AM on Thursday.

Hassan Moosa told Avas that his colleague Hassan Mohamed had been threatened by some angry residents of the island on the street. The police were notified of the incident after consultation with other islanders, Moosa said.

Hassan Mohamed said a crowd had gathered outside the house they were staying soon after the threats were made before police arrived to take them to safety.

He said the police had taken their phones while holding them separately through the night.

The journalists insisted that they had not requested for police protection but added that the police had held them overnight citing protective custody.

The journalists further reported that that senior officials of the island station met with them at around 2:00 AM and relayed concerns expressed by some residents over the two journalists spreading dissent among the people.

The officers had reportedly also warned the journalists that the police would not hesitate to take action against any move to impede the project.

Hassan Mohamed also denied any ill-treatment while in custody.

The Nilandhoo Council however, denied any knowledge of the incident.

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