An Open Letter to Democracy Now! and Other Media Organisations for Perpetrating the Myth of the “Ousted” President

Former president Mohamed Nasheed gives the thumbs up sign. PHOTO/VNEWS

Former president Mohamed Nasheed gives the thumbs up sign. PHOTO/VNEWS

Dear Democracy Now!,

It is disappointing that organisations such as yours, and many other otherwise reputed international publications, continue to report as fact the fabrications of a publicity hungry pretender – especially when some cursory research on his “ouster” and track record of his “leadership” on the environment & climate change and democracy easily prove him to be quite the opposite.

You mention the Underwater Cabinet; besides the fame that it continues to bring the former president personally you would be hard pressed to identify any practical benefit to the Maldives or to climate change awareness through this publicity stunt. Publicity stunts are worth something if they’re followed up in a meaningful manner but other than make unrealistic, sweeping gestures, of declaring that the country would go “carbon neutral by 2020”, what real change has it affected?

It has raised the profile of one attention seeking destructive disruptive and brought him to the attention of others who seek the same.

You conveniently link the cabinet stunt to the Copenhagen talks where, if you had asked any of the delegates working on the technical and professional points within the proceeding, they would all agree that the former president worked against best practice interests and hijacked the agenda, with the help of the US publicity machine, whereby ensuring their specific special interests with little or no regard for nations most vulnerable to climate change. In fact The Guardian, reporting on the WikiLeaks Cables states;

“Some countries needed little persuading. The accord promised $30bn (£19bn) in aid for the poorest nations hit by global warming they had not caused. Within two weeks of Copenhagen, the Maldives [then] foreign minister, Ahmed Shaheed, wrote to the US secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, expressing eagerness to back it.”

Adding that;

“By 23 February 2010, the Maldives’ [then] ambassador-designate to the US, Abdul Ghafoor Mohamed, told the US deputy climate change envoy, Jonathan Pershing, his country wanted ‘tangible assistance’…

“Ghafoor referred to several projects costing approximately $50m (£30m).”

Former president Nasheed pictured during a party rally.

Former president Nasheed pictured during a party rally.

The report would go on to further outline that it was unusual for Maldives as a developing country to so unreservedly embrace the accord. What happened to this “aid” money? How was it deployed or utilised? Public records during this period show no renewed deployment of funds anywhere close to the amount towards mitigating climate change or other public projects. I highly doubt any preceding administration can find any such records either.

As for his “ouster”. He resigned.

Prior to his resignation he had unlawfully detained political leaders and dubiously deployed state institutions and state resources to pressure and subdue his competition – even putting pressure on those within his party he identified as future potential leaders. Events escalate when he chooses to use the Military to “arrest” a sitting Judge. The judge, who had declared the detention of political leaders unlawful, is arbitrarily abducted, detained and disappeared for more than two weeks. During this period the judge is denied his basic civil rights – he has no access to a legal defence nor is the Human Rights Commission of the Maldives allowed access so they may ascertain the conditions of his confinement. These actions by the “democracy champion” lead to widespread protests. After weeks of pro-democracy protests calling for the release of the judge, and thereby reinstating the rule of law in the country, the mounting pressure on his “leadership” leads to him becoming ever more unhinged. Ample video and audio evidence document his illegal actions in contravention of the constitution. With the nation scrambling in hope that his better angels might prevail, he abandons his presidency – as he has done with any position that he has been given or elected to. The new government takes over and is accepted by the Commonwealth, the United Nations and the international community at large; welcoming the end to the uncertainty that was the hallmark of the latter days of his presidency.

The following day he would say he resigned because a gun was pointed at him. Weeks later the narrative changes to a ‘metaphorical’ gun pointed at his head – if even this were true it was circumstances entirely of his own doing and therefore a ‘gun’ he pointed at his own head.

Left with ever transmogrifying and wild accusations, a trait that continues to this day, his successor President Mohamed Waheed Hassan Manik is left with little choice but to convene a Commission of National Inquiry to determine the legitimacy of these claims. A panel, which includes a representative of the former president as well as representatives from the Commonwealth & the United Nations along with a celebrated retired judge from Singapore, is convened. The panel unanimously rules that there was no coercion and that the resignation was valid and of his own accord – but not before the former president’s representative makes a show of resigning, mere hours before the ruling is delivered. The ruling is endorsed by the Commonwealth and the United Nations as well as other international organisations. There was no pressure. He resigned.

Former president Nasheed (L) pictured with human rights lawyer Amal Clooney

Former president Nasheed (L) pictured with human rights lawyer Amal Clooney

As to the celebrity human rights lawyer who is representing the former president, the allure of her famous husband seems to have distracted you from researching the more pertinent facts; that she is a lawyer – someone who is by definition bound to represent their client; guilt or innocence notwithstanding. That she has links to figures with horrendous human rights records. That she has personal and professional connections that bear more than cursory investigation and scrutiny. That she might want to cultivate an air of a “crusading wife” to bolster future political ambitions of her husband at the expense of justice to the whole of a fledgling democracy.

And in the case of asylum and cosying up to No. 10; does it not seem awfully convenient that all this is happening at a time when Prime Minister Cameron is coming under increasing scrutiny in the public, and indeed within his government and the parliament, as to the EU referendum and the level of his own personal culpability in the Panama Papers scandal? I suppose it’s “win-win” for the PM; help a buddy out, no matter that he’s admitted to the BBC – on HardTalk no less – that he did abduct a judge and that he’d do it again without regret or second thought. At the same time it provides some distraction from the more immediate and relevant troubles at home – and maybe the labels of “Human Rights and Democracy” defender might also rub off on the PM; providing some measure of enduring celebrity past his lacklustre leadership of the United Kingdom. Perhaps the PM sympathises with the leadership capacity, or lack thereof, of the former president and wishes himself be viewed by history in a similarly skewed, rose-tinted, manner?

And as far as the purported coup is concerned; he resigned, the rules of presidential succession took effect, his then vice president took over as president and all his claims that he was “ousted” in a coup have been addressed in the findings of the Commission of National Inquiry – which, let’s refresh our memories once again lest we have forgotten, was overseen, endorsed and accepted by the Commonwealth, the UN and other International Organisations. There was no coup.

Lastly I’d like to say this; that if you credit the final words of the former president to the ramblings of a “UK educated, deposed third world leader”, do us all a favour and don’t. Attribute it to the ramblings of an educated world leader and hold him to account as you would any world leader and president – just because the Maldives is all the way over on the other side of the world and has a limited population and resources it does not give you the right to treat it less seriously than any other sovereign nation.

Hold us to the same standard of research and reporting as you would do more serious nations. Don’t let our supposed leaders and “representatives-in-exile” off the hook when they make generalised, sweeping statements on democracy or the environment and shy away from the specifics and the sciences behind their words and actions – don’t treat our leaders, and us by extension, as simple minded and unable to grasp “big” concepts unless we’re being lead to it by the more learned and noble.

Treat us with the dignity that you would afford any other proper nation; or indeed yours.


Mohamed Haneef


Editor’s Note: Dr. Mohamed Haneef (@Dr_Hanyf on Twitter) is a construction expert currently based in the United Arab Emirates.

12 Comments on "An Open Letter to Democracy Now! and Other Media Organisations for Perpetrating the Myth of the “Ousted” President"

  1. Amazing article; it is indeed the facts that one can tell the world, particularly the British, that Nasheed is an unusual political clown; may be of similar genes to Amal “Clowney”!

  2. Poker Faced Maldivians would absolutely love this article. Thanks.

  3. I seriously have doubts about the facts presented since it is known and publically recorded fact that Human rights commission reps met judge Abdullah and knowing the inside information, he did not even gave courtesy to the members by at least sitting with them to answer the question of his treatment but rather was rude enough to lay on his bed through out. Arrogance beyond comprehension…

  4. Ah, but Mohamed Haneef, Nasheed did not resign – one of your commanders confessed to otherwise.

    Another publicly confessed to the coup.

    Your political leaders are drug cartel bosses, murderers, thieves, torturers and extortionists wearing the garb of political color to try and have an modicum of legality.

    Finally, this military also testified in court about how Nasheed had no hand in the arrest of your precious judge, who has been known to release drug barons and murderers working on your government’s payroll. Why do you continue to whitewash the evil deeds of a judge that has willfully shed the blood of innocents?

    That’s why you, YOU don’t deserve dignity.

    Ah, but what would you know? You’re just a mouthpiece parroting what the occupational state wants you to say – and you do. You know that disobedience to your handler will mean you’ll get the death sentence next – just like Dr. Afrasheem was killed when his handler thought he was about to defect.

    People like you, who trade off the dignity of their own countrymen, their own flesh and blood for a few seconds of imaginary security and transient wealth deserve neither dignity, nor security.

    And no, that monkey suit you’re wearing does not impart dignity to you. After all, a pig with a tie strapped to its neck is still a pig.

  5. Aruvaali Aadhanu | August 8, 2016 at 7:45 pm | Reply

    Handsomely & beautifuly desined made by PR branded product.

    May be an OEM product.It seems winter product came out on summer.

  6. best president Maldives ever experience most of the maldivians dream god bless nasheed

  7. This open letter smacks of stooge… Redirection is what a stooge will do best; its the only defense they have to protect their payroll.

    No matter anybodies thoughts on Nasheed, the only questions that are currently relevant pertain solely to the Yameen administration and unfortunately for the PPM, the party answers are as thin as the paper they’re written on.

  8. This gentleman himself agreed onthe success of President Nasheed n the benefit of his adventure. He was able to hijack the the whole agenda got lots of financial benefits to the Maldives. The opponents of his rule could not tolerate all these things n by spending millions of stolen money they used to over throw his government but are still unable to the country in a democratic way. Every body who read this article will understand that government is trying to defame the ex-president by using their stolen money. They spend millions for that. The Arther of this article is May be a lunatic n wants money from a gunda falling frustrated group of thieves running our government.

  9. HussainRasheed | December 14, 2016 at 9:33 pm | Reply

    I felt by this article how much our corrupt illegal government is frustrated! They are still not able to run the government n running behind our beloved Ex president because of his success are jealous. !

  10. Dr Haneef or whatever you want people to call you.’
    It seems you read the book but never learned anything. Even worse, it portrays that you are a soul less, money hungry bastard who is not better than the judge that president Nasheed arrested,.

    People like us were on the verge of killing this bastard judge whose hand has been painted red with blood of innocents and whose grave has been filled with extorted money. President Nasheed did a favor to him by saving his life by the said detention.

    Secondly, he should have not been executed. he deserved the fate of Afrasheem (who was murdered for defecting and running for elections by YAG and his thugs) or rather the journalist who simply vanished off the face of earth for investigating Afrasheem’s murder.

    While you mentioned the carbon initiative- you could have tried to say neutral by also mentioning the palettes of money stolen via MMA and army during the money exchange.

    So please stop writing such biased BS and proving you are nothing but a fool. tomorrow you will stand in ceremony and say that you know how we, the lower and middle class survive our lives.. that would be the day i will should from the audience you letter here and prove that you are a no clue whatsisname trying to be a Dr of nothing.

  11. ނަަަާސިރު | August 16, 2017 at 10:42 am | Reply

    It’s a great shame that our ever democratically elected president’s outlook gives an impression that he lacks intelligence of a normal human.his facial apearence confirms he is rather insane.he would be fit for a karaoke presenter

  12. ނަަަާސިރު | August 16, 2017 at 12:52 pm | Reply

    Pity well-versed English Maldivians lack everage intelligence to identify an insane person.every medical sign to correlate insanity in a human,nasheed unfortunately possess.what is wrong with us we are incapable to comprehend such a tiny fact?

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