Dr. Hassan Saeed (Dhivehi: ޑރ. ޙަސަން ސަޢީދު) was Attorney General of the Maldives from 11 November 2003 to 5 August 2007.[1] He ran as an independent candidate for the Presidency of the Maldives, and placed third of six candidates.[2] Saeed was appointed as the Attorney-General at the age of 33 by President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom on 11 November 2003. He is a scholar on Islam and wrote about liberal Islam in his book Freedom of Religion, Apostasy, and Islam published in 2004.

Hassan Saeed

OccupationJudicial Administrator
Theological work
Main interestsIslam


Educated in International Islamic University Malaysia before earning his Ph.D. at the University of Queensland in Australia, Saeed served as the Chief Justice of the Criminal Court before being appointed as Attorney-General.

Political careerEdit

New Maldives TrioEdit

A leading member of the New Maldives faction of the governing Maldivian People's Party (DRP), Saeed was elected as the Vice President of DRP in April 2006. The same month he also co-founded with Dr. Ahmed Shaheed, a fellow graduate of the University of Queensland and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Mohamed Jameel Ahmedl.

Saeed was thrust into the limelight as President Gayoom began a new term of office committed to a rapid overhaul of the country's archaic governance system and legal framework, shortly after riots rocked the capital in the aftermath of the killing of four persons in prison, discrediting the country's archaic penal and legal system.

Saeed supported a reform agenda proposed by President Gayoom. He proposed a 5-year plan to reform the criminal justice system, beginning 2005, to overhaul the nation's legal framework, penal system and the judiciary. He tabled a new Penal Code before the parliament.

Together with Foreign Minister Shaheed and the Information Minister Mohamed Nasheed (not Mohamed Nasheed), Saeed is also the chief architect of the alleged Road map for the Reform Agenda published in March 2006 by President Gayoom regime.[3]

With the defected factionEdit

After 4 and half years in the cabinet the then Attorney General Saeed and Justice Minister Mohamed Jameel Ahmed resigned from the government in what was viewed as a setback for the reformist credentials of President Gayoom. The resignations were submitted at August 5, 2007, 2:30 pm, and Saeed and Jameel arrived at Daabaurgue for a press conference just after 3:30 pm. Accusing Gayoom of misdeeds, Hassan Saeed said “I have resigned because the reform agenda, which I joined the government for, has failed, and it is not appropriate for me to stay in the cabinet.”[3] Following his resignation from the Cabinet, Saeed, along with former Foreign Minister Ahmed Shaheed and former Justice Minister Mohmamed Jameel Ahmed has set up a corporate and business law firm called "Raajje Chambers".

Presidential BidEdit

Gayoom's defected New Maldives trio with Hassan Saeed as the front runner contended for 2008 Maldives Presidential Election as an independent candidate, Hassan Saeed as the presidential candidate chose Ahmed Shaheed as his running mate.[4] He came third behind the incumbent President Gayyoom and Mr. Nasheed, Maldivian Democratic Party Candidate. With Saeed's backing in the second of election, Mr Nasheed was able to bring to an end of the 30 year rule of Gayyoom.


A madrasa student and Islamic Scholar, Saeed is an advocate of liberal Islam and is the co-author of the book Freedom of Religion, Apostasy and Islam, a book that elucidates the position of Muslim scholars on apostasy and practice prevailing in the Muslim community. In the book the authors Abdullah Saeed and Hassan Saeed argue that the law of apostasy and its punishment by death in Islamic law conflicts with a variety of fundamentals of Islam. They contend that the early development of the law of apostasy was essentially a religio-political tool, and that there was a large diversity of opinion among early Muslims on the punishment.[5] Saeed has argued in the newspaper Indian Express that Islamic anger over the U.S. invasion of Iraq, along with increasing Internet access to the Maldives, has caused a shift towards greater fundamentalism.[6]

Saeed is also a Barrister-at-Law in the High Court of Australia. He is also an Advocate and Solicitor in the Republic of Maldives. He has written editorials in the British newspaper The Guardian advocating democracy in the Maldives.[7]


  1. ^ "The Maldives: Waving or drowning?". The Economist. Dec 19, 2006. Retrieved 2010-01-09. However, Hassan Saeed, the attorney-general, argues that even the “rent-controlled” resorts are too expensive for all but plutocrats to bid for...
  2. ^ "Maldives holds run-off election". Al Jazeera. 28 Oct 2008. Retrieved 2010-01-09. Gayoom has presided over the Maldives since 1978, but he faces a tough challenge in the run-off after Hassan Saeed, the former attorney-general who came in third, threw his support behind Nasheed.
  3. ^ a b "Minivan News". Archived from the original on 2008-04-15. Retrieved 2008-09-30.
  4. ^ . Minivan News[permanent dead link]
  5. ^ Saeed, Abdullah; Hassan Saeed (2004). Freedom of Religion, Apostasy and Islam. Ashgate Publishing. ISBN 0-7546-3083-8.
  6. ^ Associated Press (Nov 14, 2007). "Terror ripples under calm waters of Maldives". Indian Express. Retrieved 2010-01-09. The global outburst of Islamic anger after the US invasion of Iraq and the spread of Internet access to this country’s remote islands played a major role in the growing fundamentalism, said Hassan Saeed, the Maldives’ former attorney general.
  7. ^ Hassan Saeed (20 July 2010). "Maldives democracy must not go backwards". The Guardian. Retrieved 2010-01-09. The British tourists who come to the Maldives' beaches...
Preceded by
Mohamed Munavvar
Attorney General of the Maldives
2003–resigned on 5 August 2007
Succeeded by
Azima Shukoor