The speaker of the Maldives parliament has apologised to a British vacationer after footage of her arrest by a number of policemen triggered criticism on social media.
Tourism is a significant earner for the Maldives, a tropical archipelago within the Indian Ocean common with honeymooners and celebrities.
Police stated the girl, who was strolling on a primary highway on the island of Maafushi, was “inappropriately” dressed and allegedly unruly and drunk when she was detained after refusing to adjust to requests to cowl up.
The Maldives as soon as confined vacationers to resort islets separate from the native Muslim inhabitants however in recent times has allowed foreigners to remain on inhabited islands.
Vacationers can put on swimwear similar to bikinis within the resorts however are topic to native gown codes elsewhere.
Movies shared on social media confirmed three males attempting to detain the traveller, whereas a fourth individual tried to cowl her with a towel.
The lady was heard shouting “you’re sexually assaulting me” through the incident.
The speaker, Mohamed Nasheed, advised parliament on Monday that he was extending an apology to the girl over the incident, which noticed her detained by police for 2 hours earlier than being launched.
The vacationer has since left the nation of 340,000 Sunni Muslims however Nasheed stated he hoped tourism authorities would invite her to return.
The Maldives police service commissioner, Mohamed Hameed, wrote after the footage was shared on-line that the incident “appears to be badly dealt with”.
“I apologise to the vacationer and the general public for this. The problem I’ve taken up is to professionalise the police service and we’re engaged on that. This matter is being investigated.”
A police assertion on Friday known as on vacationers to respect “cultural sensitivities and native rules”.
The video of the incident sparked anger amongst Maldivians. Some took to social media to criticise the vacationer’s behaviour after different movies confirmed her grabbing the sun shades of a police officer.
A former international minister, Dunya Maumoon, criticised each the vacationer and the police. “She ought to have revered the spiritual and cultural norms of the nation when it comes to modest apparel in a residential space,” Maumoon wrote, however added: “Condemn the man-handling by the Maldivian police. It might have been dealt with higher and extra professionally.”