Police in the Maldives used pepper spray to break up a protest by journalists and activists accusing the government of stifling press freedom, arresting 11 of the demonstrators. The Maldives, known mainly for its luxury resorts, became a multiparty democracy in 2008 after decades of autocratic rule. However, democratic gains have declined rapidly. About 50 protesters rallied near the president’s office against the government’s move to criminalise defamation, as well as other measures allegedly taken against the media. Others raised the issue of some media being barred from court reporting.