Maverick was first published as an electronic underground magazine in the Maldives in June 2002. Dissent against the regime was expressed online since 1998, and by 2001 there were three main sources of resistance: Sandhaanu, the pdf newsletter that arrived by email and was circulated discreetly; Dhivehi Forum, a forum on Delphi.com that allowed Maldivians to criticize the regime and have discussions on important topics of the time; and MaldivesCulture.com, a website operated from overseas with analytical articles and editorials. To suppress the discontent growing online, the regime blocked access from Maldives to Dhivehi Forum and MaldivesCulture.com. Maldivians were able to access the site and forum using only proxies and other methods of circumventing censorship. By the end of January 2002, Dhivehi Forum ceased to exist and Sandhaanu writers were arrested. It was in a time of intense police spying, wiretapping, and internet monitoring that Maverick was born. The writers risked torture and life in prison if arrested; in July 2002 the Sandhaanu writers were sentenced to life in prison, proving that the regime was not tolerating any criticism or dissent. Maverick was created to keep the flames of hope burning, after Sandhaanu writers were arrested and Mohamed Nasheed (Anni) was stripped of his seat in Parliament.
Maverick received critical acclaim after MaldivesCulture.com received past issues of the magazine and published an archive. The July 2003 issue of Maverick (issue 4.35) covered election rigging in Maldives and the issue was published in MaldivesCulture.com just as Maldivians were about to vote in the presidential referendum after the September 2003 incidents. Dhivehi Observer has kept an archive of Maverick issues.
Maverick is published by the Maldivian Rebels. In the editorial to the first issue, the objectives were outlined:
We are starting this movement to fight for our constitutional rights. If the rights are limited in the constitution we need to amend that too. We are going to fight for democracy, for freedom of expression, for the rule of law, for separation of powers, for ending of arbitrary powers of the police, for an end to torture, and for upholding human rights. We are going to fight for an end to nepotism, corruption and injustice.
Maverick is making a comeback in a time of tension as the forces of democracy in Maldives are threatened by money politics and greed. We are thankful of the efforts of all dissidents who have worked to reach “beyond fear”.