South Asians for Human Rights (SAHR) expresses its heartfelt condolences to the family, relatives, and friends of the late Mohamed Latheef, upon his death on Sunday, 3 July 2022.
It is indeed with deep sadness that SAHR learns of the death of Mohamed Latheef, SAHR’s former Co-Chairperson and a member since its inception.
Mohamed Latheef was a highly committed human rights activist who strived, even with utmost risk to his life, to guide the Maldives to the path of democracy at a period when the country was in a tight grip of President Abdul Gayoom’s authoritarian rule for many years. He was held in solitary confinement for three months without any charges being brought against him and was also compelled to live a significant amount of years in Sri Lanka in self-imposed exile due to his activism. Even away from the Maldives, he continued with his efforts in making sure that people’s rights are protected in the Maldives and across South Asia.
Starting his life as a journalist, Mohamed Latheef later became a politician and parliamentarian and co-founded the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) – the first and largest political party in the Maldives. He was also the former Human Rights Ambassador of the Maldives and a lifelong campaigner for the protection and promotion of human rights. Latheef was educated in Sri Lanka, which he called his second home, first at Trinity College, Kandy and then at Royal College, Colombo.
He was a true South Asian, always engaged in protecting the rights of people across South Asia. As a member of SAHR, he strived to promote South Asian activism, while fighting for justice for the victims in any country. He was a strong advocate for peace in South Asia, joining in SAHR’s peace missions, and speaking up against governments that aim to break up the unity among the people.
We shall indeed miss his presence among us in the human rights community.
On behalf of the members of South Asians for Human Rights,
Dr. Radhika Coomaraswamy
Dr. Roshmi Goswami