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Country backslides on press freedom

(CPJ/IFEX) - July 10, 2012 - The following is a CPJ Blog post:

By Madeline Earp/CPJ Senior Asia Research Associate

CPJ has been watching the Maldives with concern since its first democratically-elected President Mohamed Nasheed relinquished power in February following what he describes as a military coup. New President Mohamed Waheed Hassan says Nasheed's resignation was voluntary and refuted criticism that his rule marked a return to the ways of former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, a dictator notorious for jailing his critics, according to CPJ research. Yet press freedom is deteriorating under Hassan with the rise of partisan political strife and religious conservatism.

Hassan has delayed elections until July 2013, leading to chaotic pro-election demonstrations by Nasheed's party, the Maldivian Democratic Party, according to Agence France-Presse. Police detained private TV station Raajje TV's news chief Asward Ibrahim Waheed and Cable News Maldives journalist Ali Naseer during protests on Monday, according to local independent news website Minivan News and international news reports.

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