A British tourist was arrested for dressing "inappropriately" in the Maldives. Footage of the arrest by several policemen triggered widespread criticism on social media.
Police initially defended their behaviour, arguing the woman was drunk and dressed inappropriately. They added that she behaved in unruly fashion when she refused to comply with requests to cover herself. The woman can be heard shouting "you're sexually assaulting me" during the incident. She was later detained by police for two hours.
A speaker of the Maldives parliament later explained that he would apologise to the woman over the controversial incident. He said: “I apologise to the tourist and the public for this. The challenge I have taken up is to professionalise the police service and we are working on that. This matter is being investigated.”
Tourists in the Maldives can wear swimwear in resorts but are required to abide by local dress codes elsewhere. Maldivians widely reacted with anger to the footage and criticised the tourist's behaviour.
According to the Guardian, former foreign minister Dunya Maumoon criticised both the tourist and the police's handling of the incident. She argued that the tourist "should have respected the religious and cultural norms of the country in terms of modest attire in a residential area" but also condemned the "man-handling by Maldivian police."