The Martin Ennals Foundation has today announced Ahmed Mansoor as the 2015 Laureate Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders.
Ahmed Mansoor was selected by a jury of ten global human rights organizations (see list below). The award is given to Human Rights Defenders who have shown deep commitment and face great personal risk. The aim of the award is to provide protection through international recognition. Strongly supported by the City of Geneva, the Award will be presented on Tuesday 6 October.
Ahmed Mansoor (United Arab Emirates)
Since 2006, Ahmed Mansoor has focused on initiatives concerning freedom of expression, civil and political rights. He successfully campaigned in 2006-2007 to support two people jailed for critical social comments, who were released and the charges dropped. Shortly after, the Prime Minister of UAE issued an order not to jail journalists in relation to their work. Mr Mansoor is one of the few voices within the United Arab Emirates who provides a credible independent assessment of human rights developments. He regularly raises concerns on arbitrary detention, torture, international standards for fair trials, non-independence of the judiciary and domestic laws that violate international law.
He has faced repeated intimidation and harassment, including imprisonment in 2011 after being convicted of “insulting officials” and sentenced to three years in prison, although he was released after eight months.
Since being jailed in 2011, he has been denied a passport and banned from travelling.
The Martin Ennals Jury has publicly urged the government of the UAE to lift this travel ban and allow him to travel.
Martin Ennals Foundation Chair Micheline Calmy-Rey stated: “Ahmed Mansoor continues to pay the price for speaking out on human rights issues in his country, we urge his government to lift the travel ban.”
The two other finalists received Martin Ennals Prizes:
Robert Sann Aung (Myanmar)Since 1974, Robert Sann Aung has courageously fought against human rights abuses. He has been repeatedly imprisoned in harsh conditions, physically attacked as well as regularly threatened. He was disbarred from 1993 – 2012. Currently, he represents students detained for peaceful protests.
Asmaou Diallo (Guinea)
Asmaou Diallo’s human rights work started following the events of 28 September 2009 when the Guinean military attacked peaceful demonstrators. She founded l’Association des Parents et Amis des Victimes du 28 septembre 2009 (APIVA), which assists those affected, and supports them to testify in court proceedings.
The main award of the human rights movement, the Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders (MEA) is a unique collaboration among ten of the world’s leading human rights organizations to give protection to human rights defenders worldwide. The Jury is composed of the following NGOs:
– Amnesty International
– EWDE Germany
– Front Line Defenders
– Human Rights First
– Human Rights Watch
– International Commission of Jurists
– International Service for Human Rights
– World Organisation Against Torture