Editor, The Maldives Independent
Zaheena Rasheed is the editor of the Maldives Independent (former Minivan News), one of her country’s few remaining independent online media outlets. As a result of her courage and determination, she has come to embody the revival of journalism and the fight for media freedom in Maldives. She has dared to cover highly sensitive stories in a country where the most radical form of Islamism has taken hold, and she has not hesitated to criticize the authorities, including their culpable passivity in the investigation into fellow journalist Ahmed Rilwan’s disappearance in 2014. She was one of 16 journalists arrested in Malé on 3 April 2016 during a demonstration against the decline in media freedom. Their grievances included a court order closing the newspaper Haveeru, a new bill to re-criminalize defamation (which was decriminalized in 2009) and the lack of progress in the investigation into Rilwan’s disappearance.
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