The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
International Human Rights and Climate Change Activist Mohamed Nasheed Arrested
By Paul E McGinniss
Mohamed Nasheed, the first democratically elected President of the Maldives, who was ousted from office in February, was arrested today and taken into custody. In a brutal display of force, Nasheed was taken away Monday morning by Maldivian National Defence Forces (MNDF), to stand trial for the “unlawful” arrest of a judge during his last days in power. Black clad MNDF Police arrested Nasheed, preventing him to continue his campaign to regain the presidency.
The LA Times reported that police used excessive force—including pepper spray and violence—while arresting Nasheed for allegedly ignoring a court summons.
The New York Times reported Maldivian Democratic Party workers said that former ministers and aides in Nasheed’s government who were in the house were also pepper-sprayed and violently dragged out.
Speaking to The Hindu from the southern island of Fares-Maathoda, Hamid Abdul Ghafoor, Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) spokesperson for international affairs, said that masked personnel of the MNDF descended on the island early on Monday morning, and arrested the former president. “They just dragged him away to their mother boat. They came in about five boats to the island,” he said.
Nasheed's Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) urges the international community, and Maldivian development partners to immediately engage in dialogue with President Waheed Hassan to maintain “maximum restraint” and to not do anything that would disrupt peace and stability of the country.
Nasheed was swept to power in a bloodless revolution of the people in 2008 overthrowing by democratic election, the brutal dictator, Mamoon Abdul Gayoom who ruled with an iron fist for 30 years. Nasheed is to some extent a “Mandela of the Maldives." Like his South African counterpart, Nasheed was tortured and imprisoned on and off over a period of many years.
South of India, the approximate 1,200 Maldive Islands with a land area of only 115 square miles are spread out over 34,749 square miles of ocean. Some of the islands are at sea level and the highest point in the entire nation is a mere 7.87 feet above sea level. Former dictator Gayoom, in autocratic fashion, while ignoring freedoms for his own people, also refused to acknowledge that the country was being lost to the sea, much like the Kiribati Islands, because of rising sea levels due to global warming. Optimistically, things started to change for the better in 2008 when the environmentally aware, charismatic Mohamed Nasheed, who had been a leading advocate for democracy in his country, won the presidency as seen in the documentary The Island President.
It is urgent that the EcoWatch community show their support for Nasheed who has put his life on the line to bring democracy to the Maldives and who has been an international leader in encouraging nations all around the world to cooperate and address climate change. Visit Democracy Maldives for the latest news on Nasheed.
Watch the video below of the interview I did with Jon Shenk, director and cinematographer of the extraordinary film The Island President. The documentary dramatically captures the year in the life of President Mohamed Nasheed, after he becomes the first democratically elected President of the Maldives. Jon talks about climate change and why what happens in the remote island nation of the Maldives affects us all.
Visit EcoWatch’s CLIMATE CHANGE page for more related news on this topic.
Paul E McGinniss is The New York Green Advocate. He is a green building consultant and real estate broker in New York. He is pretty much obsessed with all things environment and has lately become a resiliency addict.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
Native Americans are disproportionately without access to clean water, according to a new report, "Closing the Water Access Gap in the United States: A National Action Plan," to be released this afternoon, which shows that more than two million Americans do not have access to access to running water, indoor plumbing or wastewater services.
By Nanticha Ocharoenchai
In the Czech Republic, horses have become the knights in shining armor. A study published in the Journal for Nature Conservation suggests that returning feral horses to grasslands in Podyjí National Park could help boost the numbers of several threatened butterfly species.
By Bailey Hopp
If you had to choose a diamond for your engagement ring from below or above the ground, which would you pick … and why would you pick it? This is the main question consumers are facing when picking out their diamond engagement ring today. With a dramatic increase in demand for conflict-free lab-grown diamonds, the diamond industry is shifting right before our eyes.
By Whitney E. Akers
- "The Game Changers" is a new documentary on Netflix that posits a vegan diet can improve athletic performance in professional athletes.
- Limited studies available show that the type of diet — plant-based or omnivorous — doesn't give you an athletic advantage.
- We talked to experts about what diet is the best for athletic performance.
Packed with record-setting athletes displaying cut physiques and explosive power, "The Game Changers," a new documentary on Netflix, has a clear message: Vegan is best.