A small group of protesters gathered outside PR firm Ruder Finn’s London offices to mark Maldives Independence Day, reports PR Week, including President Mohamed Waheed’s brother, Naushad Waheed Hassan.
Naushad previously stepped down the post of Deputy High Commissioner to the UK as of now “because I cannot serve a regime that has brought down the democratically elected government of my country in a coup d’état.”
The protest saw placards bearing slogans ‘Islamophobes and dictators’, ‘Ruder Finn: no client too toxic’ and ‘Gold medallists of spin: Ruder Finn’, reported PR Week.
“The criticism came after Ruder Finn was blasted by British-based pro-democracy group Friends of Maldives for accepting a brief to promote a tourism drive by the Maldives government. This followed claims that president Mohamed Nasheed was removed in a coup d’etat in February.
“Agency boss Nick Leonard had not faced protesters himself as he was on holiday. But he defended the agency’s actions, saying: ‘I believe in freedom of speech and they have the right to voice their opinion.’”