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Centre of Governance & Human Rights (CGHR)


23rd February 2012

Human Rights and Practice: February 2012 Crisis in the Maldives

Dr. Farahanaz Faizal (Fmr High Commissioner to the United Kingdom)

Following the controversial change of government in the Maldives on 7th February 2012, the Centre of Governance and Human Rights is delighted to host a one-off Q&A session with the diplomat Dr. Farahanaz Faizal on the practice of human rights, and her own career in international relations.

Her resignation, in protest at the regime change, has attracted international press coverage, with Dr. Faizal appearing on the BBC and Al Jazeera to discuss the political crisis in the Maldives, as well as allegations of police brutality and detention of opposition figures without charge. The Maldives is Asia’s youngest democracy and a unique case study in contemporary human rights in the developing world.

For more background on the case, and an interview with Dr. Faizel watch here

About the speaker

Her Excellency Dr. Farahanaz Faizal was appointed High Commissioner of the Republic of Maldives to the United Kingdom in March 2009, after having served as advisor to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs since December 2008. She stood down from her post in protest at the resignation of President Mohamed Nasheed in February 2012.

Between 1998 and 2008 she worked as an independent analyst and consultant with the research speciality of security problems of small island states, gender and international relations. She joined the Maldivian Democratic Party in 2006 and has been working for the party since then. She has been actively involved in liaising with Human Rights Organisations such as Amnesty International, in order to secure the release of party activists arrested on several occasions by the previous Maldivian regime.

H.E. Dr. Faizal graduated from University of Keele in 1989, with a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations and Computer Science, and in 1991 she completed her M. Phil in International Relations at the University of Cambridge. In 1996 H.E. Dr. Faizal obtained a PhD in Politics from the University of Hull, UK on the thesis “Security Problems of Small, Island Developing States (SIDS) with particular reference to the SIDS of the Indian Ocean”. H.E. Dr. Faizal is the first woman from the Maldives to have obtained a PhD.