A top police official in the Maldives went on to apologize for the actions of his subordinates after a video of a British tourist dressed in a bikini being manhandled and arrested by Maldivian cops started circulating online, the Daily Mail reports.
The incident apparently occurred on island of Maafushi, in the Kaafu atoll, though it wasn’t immediately clear where exactly the video was recorded.
The footage of the altercation shows three men grappling with the lady who yells "you’re sexually assaulting me", trying to handcuff her while another man moves to cover her body with a towel.
Maafushi rashu therey bikini laigen tourist eh hingan massakai kurumun fuluhunaai rayyithun naseyhai dhee ekan nuhuhtumun baaruge beynun koh hayyaru kohfi.— #MvCrisis 🇲🇻 (@MvCrisis) February 6, 2020
Ithuru mauloomaath: https://t.co/BzfpqEJUqs pic.twitter.com/QTf250LHXF
Commenting on this situation, police commissioner Mohamed Hameed said that an "incident in which our officers restrained a female tourist seems to be badly handled", as quoted by the newspaper.
"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," he added.
According to the local media outlets cited by the newspaper, the lady was arrested by on 6 February for “indecent exposure”, as while wearing bikinis is permitted in holiday resorts in the Maldives, it is strictly prohibited away from those areas; the cops also reportedly suspected the tourist to be “under the influence of alcohol”.
As the story spread across social media, quite a few netizens voiced their disapproval of the tourist’s actions, arguing that one should respect the laws and customs of the countries they visit, with some noting that perhaps the cops should’ve probably handled the situation differently.
First thing is that She was Drunk. Second is that She Refused to cover bikinis according to the Law. The Local Islands Always Welcomes Tourists with Love. Its that An Incident like this NEVER happened so far in Maldives.— Ahmed (@muhuthaadhu777) February 7, 2020
She was drunk, assaulted a police officer and was walking in a residential area in 2 piece, which by the way isn't permissible by law.— Dial Square (@TheWatcher1322) February 7, 2020
There are designated beaches for them, but the police and residents shouldn't have handled her like that.
When you go against law of a country you are in, it is likely that authorities will intervene if reported.— Latin❓🎈 (@bin_aadhanu) February 7, 2020
And a number of people also pointed to another video which may be related to the incident in question.