The campaign to free Mohamed Nasheed–the climate change activist, former president of the Maldives, and central figure in Jon Shenk’s acclaimed documentary “The Island President”–is heating up. Concerned that Nasheed will soon be convicted and sentenced for trumped up charges of terrorism by his political rivals, several prominent documentary filmmakers and activists, including Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Oscar-winning filmmaker Louie Psihoyos (“The Cove”), and actor Fisher Stevens, are fighting to get the word out about his fate.
Earlier today, Impact Partners’ head and “The Island President” executive producer Dan Cogan spoke to HuffPo Live, calling the proceedings against Nasheed “a kangaroo court set up to convict him, and it should be very concerning for anyone who believes in the rule of law and democratic government.”
The group has signed an Open Letter in support of former President Nasheed, which is included below, along with its signatories.
Indiewire readers are encouraged to give their support by signing in the Comments section of this post. Readers can also sign a petition on Change.org, which is currently running a thousand signatories short of its 5,000 number goal.
Open Letter in Support of President Nasheed
Formerly an Amnesty International “Prisoner of Conscience” who was jailed for more than six years for writing articles critical of the government as a journalist, President Nasheed defeated Maumoon Gayoom in the Maldives’ first-ever free and fair election in 2008. Known worldwide as the “Mandela of the Maldives,” Nasheed also became an international hero of the climate change movement for setting a goal of making his nation carbon neutral by 2020, and by dramatically improving the climate talks at the 2009 UN Copenhagen Conference. He received the prestigious James Lawson Award for Non-Violent Conflict Resolution, as well as the Sylvia Earl Blue Mission Award for climate advocacy. Nasheed is the subject of the acclaimed documentary “The Island President.” In 2009, he was named a TIME “hero of the environment” and in 2012, was included in NEWSWEEK’s “World’s 10 Best Leaders.
1. Bill McKibben, Author, Environmentalist and Co-Founder of 350.org
2. Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
3. Jose Ramos-Horta, Former President of Timor-Leste and Winner of the Nobel Peace Prize
4. Kierán Suckling, Executive Director, Center for Biological Diversity
5. Michael Gerrard, Director, Sabin Center for Climate Change Law, Columbia Law School
6. Erich Pica, President, Friends of the Earth
7. Wm. Carroll Muffett, President, Center for International Environmental Law
8. Lindsey Allen, Executive Director, Rainforest Action Network
9. Eban Goodstein, Director, Center for Environmental Policy, Bard College
10. Dan Becker, Director, Safe Climate Campaign
11. Kathleen Rogers, President, Earth Day Network
12. David Hunter, Professor of Law, Director, International Law Program, American University, Washington College of Law
13. Tom Athanasiou, Executive Director, EcoEquity, USA
14. Thomas G. Kelly, Executive Director, KyotoUSA, Berkeley, CA
15. Bill Snape, General Counsel, Endangered Species Coalition
16. Ted Glick, National Campaign Coordinator, Chesapeake Climate Action Network
17. Jean Oelwang, CEO Virgin Unite
18. Debbie Kinder, Founder and CEO of the Blue Ocean Film Festival
19. Jon Shenk, Director of “The Island President”
20. Peter Goldwyn, Samuel Goldwyn Films
21. Louie Psihoyos, Executive Director, Oceanic Preservation Society (OPS). Director, “The Cove” & “Racing Extinction”
22. Fisher Stevens, Actor, Producer & Writer
23. Robert Stone, Oscar®-nominated documentary filmmaker
24. Dan Cogan, Co-Founder and Executive Director, Impact Partners, Co-Executive Producer of “The Island President”
25. Geralyn Dreyfous, Co-Founder, Impact Partners
26. Seymour Wishman, President of First Run Features
27. Marc Mauceri, Vice President of First Run Features
28. Jenny Raskin, Impact Partners
29. Richard Berge, Producer of “The Island President”
30. Bonni Cohen, Producer of “The Island President”
31. Terry Tempest Williams, Writer