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Maldives police arrested 16 independent journalists on Sunday while breaking up a demonstration against an alleged crackdown on freedom of speech in the politically troubled nation, private media outlets reported.Police used pepper spray and roughed up reporters who were staging a sit-in protest outside President Abdulla Yameen's office in the capital Male, according to several outlets including the Maldives Independent website.The protest was aimed at forcing the government to withdraw its draft criminal defamation bill, which protesters fear will be used against private media as well as political opponents of the government.
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