Maldives ruling party lambastes coverage journalists

Maldives ruling Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) has severely criticized local journalists stating they lack professional conduct and accused them of being 'agents' of opposition movement.

Speaking at a press conference the party's deputy leader Abdul Raheem Abdulla on Saturday mocked coverage journalists on-site of Friday's opposition led protests, calling them activists. In his snarky remarks, Abdulla mocked journalists as he said that reporters should rather find career opportunities in movie business - chaffing they were befitting as 'talented actors.'

He also refused to acknowledge the journalists who brought live coverage of the events unfolded on Friday evening, stating the reporters lacked professional ethics and were behaving more like opposition sympathizing activists.

Abdulla also made serious allegations that the local media were involved in plotting these ongoing protests by the opposition, claiming the true 'masterminds' behind these events were out on the streets in 'disguise' of reporters - spreading biased information.

He challenged the local media and reporters as he added that such individuals will be brought in for questioning - strongly stating necessary action will be taken against them.

Ruling party's parliamentary group leader and Vilimale' constituency lawmaker Ahmed Nihan Hussain Manik had criticized in a similar tone, saying the journalists present during Friday's protests in the capital had violated several regulations while they continuously breached protocols gazetted by the Maldives Broadcasting Commission.

Nihan highlighted that police would be providing a safer vantage for professionals to cover the event and report it accordingly back to their respective stations.

Furthermore he included that media outlets attempted to intensify the situation by spreading photographs taken back in 2012 and used them out of context on social media platforms to incite the international communities.

"Media is the fourth estate in a democracy and political leaders constantly promote the safety and security of media professionals, we have not forgotten these ideals and we will always urge them uphold professionalism," Nihan said.

Although the ruling party had criticized the local media regarding Friday's protests, several media reported that officers of Maldives Police used force and violence to push the reporters back. While two of RaajjeTV journalists were arrested amid the commotion, one of them was seriously injured and rushed to ADK hospital where he has been getting medical treatment.