19 Facts About Ahmed Shaheed


Ahmed Shaheed is a Maldivian diplomat, politician and professor.


Ahmed Shaheed served as Maldivian Minister of Foreign Affairs from November 2008 to December 2010; previously, he had served as Minister of Foreign Affairs for two years, from 14 July 2005 until August 20,2007.


On 13 June 2016, Ahmed Shaheed was nominated by the Consultative Group of Ambassadors comprising Albania, Brazil, Egypt, France and Thailand, as the most suitable candidate to be appointed by the President of the Human Rights Council for the post of United Nations Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief, to succeed Professor Heiner Bielefeldt of Germany.


At the national level, in 2003, Ahmed Shaheed secured political approval for the creation of Maldives National Human Rights Commission, which was established in November 2003, and for accession to the UN Convention against Torture, as part of the human rights-related reforms the government embarked on in late 2003.


In July 2005, Ahmed Shaheed used his position as Government Spokesperson to reject the condemnation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the Chief Justice of the Maldives.


Ahmed Shaheed is one of the co-founders of New Maldives, a group within the former regime that spearheaded the drive to make the Maldives a modern liberal democracy.


Ahmed Shaheed is the founder of the Open Society Association dedicated to the promotion of human rights, tolerance, and democracy.

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Ahmed Shaheed offered "unconditional support" for the candidature of the opposition candidate, Mohamed Nasheed, in the run-off, and was appointed as his Foreign Minister when the latter won the presidency in October 2008.


Ahmed Shaheed claimed credit for the establishment of the Maldives Human Rights Commission by the Paris Principles.


Ahmed Shaheed had come under strident criticism for his advocacy of international human rights norms, such as extending standing invitations to United Nations Human Rights special mandates to visit Maldives and hosting of a UN Human Rights Advisor in Maldives.


Ahmed Shaheed said that "a conservative guard within the parliament and cabinet" was resisting reform.


Ahmed Shaheed's resignation followed his open criticism of the parliament for having failed to protect the people's fundamental rights and for being a rubber stamp to sustain the 30-year-old rule of President Gayoom.


On June 17,2011, Ahmed Shaheed was appointed as special rapporteur on the Human Rights Situation in Iran by the Human Rights Council of the United Nations.


From 2010 to 2012, Ahmed Shaheed had been the lead investigator of an alleged 800 million dollar fraud by current President Yameen, filing court cases in Singapore High Court through the UK fraud investigator Grant Thornton and Singapore solicitors Rajah and Tan.


Ahmed Shaheed has been active on the international stage advocating human rights protection in Islamic societies, supporting freedom of religion and the abolition of the death penalty.


In September 2012, Ahmed Shaheed joined the Human Rights Centre at the University of Essex as a visiting professor.


Ahmed Shaheed is a Visiting Professor at the City University of New York.


On 3 November 2015, Ahmed Shaheed, along with then UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon was a recipient of the Global Leadership Awards for advancing human rights.


Ahmed Shaheed was educated at the University of Aberystwyth, UK, before he obtained his Ph.