After evading capture for almost a year, the democratically elected former President of the Maldives, Mohammed Nasheed has been arrested. It is thought that Nasheed's former Vice President, Mohammed Waheed Hassan backed by former dictator Maumoon Gayoom's coterie, staged the military coup wresting power away from Nasheed last February. Hassan has been trying to haul Nasheed into court on politically motivated charges since his ouster.
After years of struggle, imprisonment and torture Mohammed Nasheed won the first democratically held elections in the Maldives in 2008, he went on to become one of the most outspoken critics of Climate Change. Due to the precarious position of the Maldives—sitting atop very low lying atolls in the Indian Ocean—the island nation could be totally underwater by mid-century as sea levels continue to rise.
During his short time in office, Nasheed, pledged to make the Maldives carbon neutral. He railed other island and coastal nations such as Tuvalu and Costa Rica, into a coalition advocating at the UN for carbon regulation commitments from the developed world.
While Nasheed brought attention to the climate crisis and the acute impact on island nations to world leaders, his administration was beset by partisan conflicts and corruption within the Parliament, making it almost impossible for the President to make affecting changes. Sound familiar?
It just so happened that an American filmmaker, Jon Shenk, interested in documenting Nasheed's fight against climate change ended up also documenting the Nasheed's ouster from office in the 2011 award winning film, Island President.