Manchester activists lobby council to get street named after Ahmed Mansoor
As Ahmed Mansoor´s trial is finally starting in the UAE, Manchester activists are campaigning to have a new street named after the prominent Emirati human rights defender in an effort to raise awareness of the UAEÂ´s dire human rights record.
Ahmed Mansoor was arrested in the early hours of 20 March 2017 and detained for his peaceful human rights advocacy work in the Emirates. For more than one year, the award-winning activist was held at an unverified location without access to a lawyer and only two short supervised family visits.
On 11th April 2018, finally, Ahmend Mansoor appeared before the Federal Appeal Court in Abu Dhabi. He has not yet been charged with a crime and his whereabouts as well as his mental and physical state remain unknown.
In the light of this recent development, a group of activists has launched a campaign to name a new street in Manchester after the leading human rights defender. It would be a fitting honour to bestow upon an individual who embodies so many of the qualities that the city and the wider region celebrate as a key part of its history, campaigners argue in an open letter to the mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, and the MP for Manchester Central, Lucy Powell.
The “Ahmed Mansoor St” campaign aims at drawing attention to frequent human rights violations committed by the UAE, a country, which has invested billions in Manchester and its football club, Manchester City. Activists are criticising Manchester city council for failing to step up and put pressure on the regime to improve its human rights record. Given the clear link between the UAE and Manchester, the group believes that the city should stand in support of outstanding individuals who are being subjected to serious human rights abuses as a direct result of principled stances on issues that Manchester celebrates as part of its heritage.
As the campaign aptly highlights, it is of paramount importance that as the UK establishes international relations of finance and trade, the respect for human rights stands at the forefront of these new relationships.