Maldives protesters hit Ruder Finn offices

A 15-strong group gathered outside the London offices of Ruder Finn on Tuesday to protest about the agency's work for the Maldives government.

Protesters: outside Ruder Finn yesterday
Protesters: outside Ruder Finn yesterday
The protest, which coincided with Maldivian Independence Day, saw placards bearing slogans ‘Islamophobes and dictators’, ‘Ruder Finn: no client too toxic’ and ‘Gold medallists of spin: Ruder Finn’.

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.’

A Rooster PR social media campaign for the Maldives Government was also hijacked last week. People posted tweets such as: ‘Brutal coup regime suppressing our rights to freedom of expression and assembly’ alongside campaign hashtag #sunnysideoflife.

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