Geneva, Tuesday 6 October 2015
Today, the Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders was presented
in Geneva to AHMED MANSOOR, a prominent human rights defender from the United
(United Arab Emirates) was
selected by a jury of 10 global human rights organisations (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
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
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.
jailed in 2011, he has been denied a passport and banned from travelling. The
Martin Ennals Jury has publically urged the government of the UAE to lift this
travel ban and allow him to travel.
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)
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 peacefully protests.
Asmaou Diallo (Guinea)
Her 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:
Martin Ennals Award Jury: