Mohamed Nasheed became the Maldives’ first democratically elected president in 2008 after leading a campaign of non-violent, civil disobedience against the dictatorship of Maumoon Gayoom, then Asia’s longest-serving ruler. Arrested, imprisoned and tortured on numerous occasions for his political beliefs, he has earned the title “the Mandela of the Maldives.”
In 2012, Mr. Nasheed was forced to resign the presidency in a coup d’etat perpetrated by security forces loyal to former president Gayoom. Three years later he was convicted and sentenced to 13 years in jail on charges of “terrorism” in a blatantly politicized trial condemned by Western leaders.
Mr. Nasheed returned to parliament in 2018 and subsequently took office as the 19th Speaker of the People’s Majlis. He narrowly survived an assassination attempt in 2021.
President Nasheed has been the recipient of numerous prestigious international awards for his work on human rights, democracy, and environmental protection, including action against climate change.