Ahmed Mansoor wins Human Rights Award
Emirati human rights defender and activist, Ahmed Mansoor was granted the title of 2015 Laureate Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders. Mansoor was unable to attend the ceremony in Geneva as he is currently banned from travelling by the Emirati authorities.
Ahmed Mansoor, has been a prominent activist in the UAE since 2006 campaigning on human rights issues in the country. He has called for greater freedom of speech, political and civil rights for his fellow citizens. In 2011 the Emirati authorities sentenced Mansoor to 3 years in prison, as part of the UAE 5 trial, which saw 5 prominent activists sentenced for their calls for reform in the country. Mansoor was convicted of insulting the leadership. Mansoor was eventually released after having served 8 months and was suddenly pardoned, though no official reason was given for this.
Since his release, Ahmed Mansoor has been banned from travelling and the UAE authorities have denied him a passport. Despite, this Mansoor has been active in campaigning in the UAE on human rights issues.
“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.” – Martin Ennals Foundation Chair Micheline Calmy-Rey
In a video at the ceremony Mansoor said, “I hope that my presence as a finalist can show people that we have deep human rights issues that PR companies and a complex network of interests try to dismiss, or at least present as contrary to the reality.”