The Donia Human Rights Center (DHRC) at the University of Michigan is pleased to announce that Mohamed Nasheed, former president of the Maldives and human rights leader, will be on campus for a panel discussion on Monday, March 6 at 4:00 pm. President Nasheed is an environmental activist and journalist who was elected president of the Maldives in its first multi-party democratic election. As president he pushed for democratic reforms and climate activism in response to rising sea levels that threatened the island nation in the Indian Ocean. In 2012 he was ousted in a coup organized by members of the previous regime, imprisoned, and was later granted asylum in the United Kingdom.

The panel discussion, “The Island President’s Struggle for Democracy and Environmental Justice in the Maldives,” features President Nasheed along with the renowned international human rights lawyer, Jared Genser, and U-M associate professor of natural resources and environment, Rebecca Hardin. The panel, moderated by Donia Human Rights Center director and U-M associate professor of sociology Kiyoteru Tsutsui, will examine how global challenges of climate change, environmental justice, human rights, and democracy converged in Nasheed’s presidency, and explore possible ways forward as the next presidential election in the Maldives looms in 2018.

President Nasheed is the subject of the documentary film, The Island President, which will be screened at 2:00 pm, prior to the panel discussion. Both events will take place in Room 1636 on the first floor of the School of Social Work Building, 1080 S. University Ave. The event is co-sponsored by the Center for South Asian Studies, Department of Sociology, Graham Sustainability Institute, International Policy Center, and Program in International and Comparative Studies. See full event details here.

The Donia Human Rights Center is a forum for intellectual exchange on issues around human rights among scholars, practitioners, students, and the broader public. We aim to promote a deeper understanding of human rights issues in the contemporary world and to equip our constituents with the tools to tackle challenging human rights problems around the world. For more information, visit

LIVE VIDEO: Monday, March 6, 2017, 4-5:30 PM