One Year On: ICFUAE call for the release of Ahmed Mansoor outside UAE embassy in London
To mark the one-year anniversary of Ahmed Mansoor’s arbitrary detention, ICFUAE held a vigil outside the UAE embassy in London in a bid to put pressure on the Emirati authorities to release the award-winning human rights defender.
In a show of solidarity, human rights campaigners held up posters of Mansoor while reciting some of the poetry he wrote prior to his detention.
As well as calling for his immediate and unconditional release, activists urged the Emirati authorities to reveal the whereabouts of the human rights defender which, according to Amnesty International, has remained undisclosed since his arrest on March 20, 2017. This, campaigners say, places Mansoor at grave risk of torture and other forms of ill-treatment.
Campaigners outside the embassy also called upon the Emirati authorities to guarantee Mansoor access to legal counsel and regular family visits, something which Amnesty say he has so far been denied.
Last night’s demonstration was the latest in a series of actions that have taken place since Mansoor's detention. Over the last year, numerous international bodies and organisations have come out in support of the human rights activist. Both Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have issued calls for his immediate and unconditional release. Moreover, shortly following his arrest, a group of UN human rights experts released a statement describing Mansoor’s arrest as a “direct attack” on human rights defenders everywhere.
Furthermore, last year, to mark the six-month anniversary of Mansoor’s detention, a coalition of notable figures and organisations released a joint letter earlier this year calling for the immediate and unconditional release of the Emirati human rights defender. The letter was signed by dozens of academics, lawyers, authors and MPs, such as the American linguist and philosopher, Noam Chomsky, British barrister, Michael Mansfield QC, the co-leader of the Green Party, Caroline Lucas MP, and UAE torture survivor David Haigh.
Ahmed Mansoor is an internationally renowned human rights activist with a long and prominent history of speaking out in favour of human rights in the UAE. Over the years he has worked extensively with international rights organisations to raise awareness to issues of injustice in the country. He is a member of the Gulf Centre for Human Rights and has a seat on the advisory committee at Human Rights Watch. In 2015, he won the prestigious Martin Ennals Award for human rights defenders.