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Shahinda Ismail

HRD, Executive Director
Maldivian Democracy Network

Shahindha founded and is the Executive Director of the Maldivian Democracy Network (MDN), which after 15 years of service to families seeking justice, survivors of torture, politically persecuted persons, human rights defenders in addition to governance and human rights, was arbitrarily banned following pressure from religious extremists in 2019. Some of the work that Shahindha has had a leading role in include a nationwide ‘Go Vote’ campaign for the first multi-party presidential election in 2008, A successful campaign to disqualify unfair amendments to the Civil Service Act in 2008, nationwide awareness programs on detainee rights and the Chapter of Rights of the Constitution. Shahindha is also one of the few advocates against religious fundamentalism in the Maldives, making continuous efforts for deradicalisation.

MDN is now based in Geneva, Switzerland and Shahindha continues to work with MDN exile.

Human rights defenders in the Maldives have been under attack in recent years as political turmoil has hit the island nation.  Right-wing religious groups have pushed a political agenda and have targeted human rights defenders.