What do the Local Authorities say?As tweeted by Mohamed Hameed, Maldives Police Service Commissioner, “Incident in Maafushi in which our officers restrained a female tourist seems to be badly handled. I apologise to the tourist and the public for this. The challenge I have taken up is to professionalise the police service & we are working on that. This matter is being investigated”. Local media suggests that the woman was arrested on Friday evening around 5.00 PM.
What Does the Maldivian Law State?The laws of Maldives do not allow people, including tourists, to wear a bikini on the local islands of the country. A person is allowed to wear a bikini only on private islands. Topless sunbathing and nudism are not allowed even on the private islands of the Maldives. The laws of Maldives do not even allow practising of any religion other than Islam, violation of which may lead to a prison sentence.
After this incident, the UK Government has issued an advisory to its citizens travelling to the Maldives to remain ‘sensitive to local dress standards when visiting non-resort islands’.
In lieu of the incident, it is advised to people travelling to the Maldives to respect the local laws, traditions, customs and religions to avoid any action which may seem offensive to the locals.