A British woman was arrested on a non-resort island of Maafusi in the Maldives for wearing a bikini, international media reported. Cecilia Jastrzembska who had previously featured on shows like the First Date and Ninja Warrior UK was arrested on 6 February on the non-resort island of Maafushi, part of the Kaafu atoll in the Indian Ocean nation.
A video of the incident has surfaced on the internet. The clip shows the 26-year-old struggling against three police officers who reportedly, 'manhandled' her. According to media reports, one out of them also tried to cover her up with a beach towel. The clip also shows the young woman yelling, 'You are sexually assaulting me.'
The woman was detained at Maafushi Police Station and later released without charge. Following the release, Maldives Police Service Commissioner Mohamed Hameed took to twitter and made a public apology.
Incident in Maafushi in which our officers restrained a female tourist seems to be badly handled. I apologise to the tourist & 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.— Mohamed Hameed (@M_Hameedh) February 6, 2020
According to media reports, it is not illegal to wear bikinis on the island but is strictly prohibited in all areas other than holiday resorts. The United Kingdom’s Foreign Office has advised travellers that 'local laws reflect the fact that the Maldives is an Islamic country' and added that they should respect local traditions, customs, laws and religions at all times and be aware of their actions to ensure that they don’t offend anyone. It further said the dress is generally informal but you should be sensitive to local dress standards when visiting non-resort islands. Nudism and topless sunbathing are not allowed anywhere, including on resort islands.