Prominent historian Shafeeq passes away

A prominent historian and writer, Ahmed Shafeeq, passed away on Friday after battling a long illness.

Shafeeq was 87-years-old and leaves behind 12 children. He wrote numerous books, earned national literary awards, and had served as atoll chief and member of parliament.

In his last book titled ‘A day in the life of Ahmed Shafeeq,’ he alleged that 111 people had been killed during ex-president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom’s 30-year reign.

Gayoom successfully sued Shafeeq for defamation and the civil court in July 2012 ordered the writer to pay MVR5,000 as compensation.

Shafeeq was held in solitary confinement for 83 days in 1995 together with three other writers, including Hassan Ahmed Maniku, Ali Moosa Didi and Mohamed Latheef.

Shafeeq contended that 50 of his diaries containing evidence relating to the deaths of the 111 Maldivians were confiscated during a raid by 15 armed men. He was ultimately released by Gayoom without charge, and was told by the investigating officer to write a letter of appreciation to the then-president for the pardon.

After Gayoom declared that he will sue Shafeeq in late 2010, then-president Mohamed Nasheed said police will investigate the claims of 111 custodial deaths.

Nasheed had said that Gayoom alone could not be blamed for all the human rights abuses that occurred under his watch.

“It was not done by him alone. It was a whole system that did it. It was Dhivehi tradition that did it. It was Dhivehi culture that did it,” he said.