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United Arab Emirates

Ahmed Mansoor Selected as the 2015 Laureate of Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders

  • Event Date: 06.10.15
  • Event Time: 18:15:00

Geneva, Tuesday 6 October 2015

Today, the Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders was presentedin Geneva to AHMED MANSOOR, a prominent human rights defender from the UnitedArab Emirates.

Ahmed Mansoor(United Arab Emirates) wasselected by a jury of 10 global human rights organisations (See list below).

The Award isgiven to human rights defenders who have shown deep commitment and face greatpersonal risk. The aim of the award is to provide protection throughinternational recognition.

Since 2006, Ahmed Mansoor has focused on initiatives concerning freedom of expression, civil andpolitical rights. He successfully campaigned in 2006-2007 to support two peoplejailed for critical social comments, who were released and the charges dropped.Shortly after, the Prime Minister of UAE issued an order not to jail journalistsin relation to their work. Mr Mansoor is one of thefew voices within the United Arab Emirates who provides a credibleindependent assessment of human rights developments. He regularlyraises concerns on arbitrary detention, torture, international standards forfair trials, non-independence of the judiciary, and domestic laws that violateinternational law.

He has faced repeated intimidation andharassment, including imprisonment in 2011 after being convicted of “insultingofficials” and sentenced to three years’ in prison, although he was releasedafter eight months.

Since beingjailed in 2011, he has been denied a passport and banned from travelling. TheMartin Ennals Jury has publically urged the government of the UAE to lift thistravel ban and allow him to travel.

Martin EnnalsFoundation Chair Micheline Calmy-Rey stated Ahmed Mansoor continues to pay the price forspeaking out on human rights issues in his country, we urge his government tolift the travel ban.

The two otherfinalists received Martin Ennals Prizes:

Robert Sann Aung (Myanmar)

Since 1974,Robert Sann Aung has courageously fought against human rights abuses. He hasbeen repeatedly imprisoned in harsh conditions, physically attacked as well asregularly threatened. He was disbarred from 1993 – 2012. Currently, herepresents students detained for peacefully protests.

Asmaou Diallo (Guinea)

Her human rightswork started following the events of 28 September 2009 when the Guineanmilitary attacked peaceful demonstrators. She founded l’Association desParents et Amis des Victimes du 28 septembre 2009 (APIVA), which assiststhose affected, and supports them to testify in court proceedings.

The main award of thehuman rights movement. The Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders (MEA) is a uniquecollaboration among ten of the world’s leading human rights organizations togive protection to human rightsdefenders worldwide. The Jury is composed of the following NGOs:

Martin Ennals Award Jury:

- Amnesty International,


- HumanRights First,


- InternationalService for Human Rights,

- EWDEGermany,

- FrontLine Defenders,

- Human Rights Watch,

- InternationalCommission of Jurists,

- WorldOrganisation Against Torture (OMCT).

For further information, pleasecontact: Michael Khambatta +41 79 474 8208 or visit

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