Fly Emirates? If the Emir lets you!

September 15, 2015

The Emirates proudly sponsor major clubs such as AC Milan, Real Madrid, Benfica, Paris Saint-Germain and Arsenal, but when it comes to flying out of the country there is a problem for those who do not toe the line. A case in point is Ahmed Mansoor, one of 3 finalist for the 2015 Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders.

Today – 15 September 2015 – the 10 international NGOs on the Jury of the MEA (see list below) came out with an exceptional joint statement calling on the United Arab Emirates (UAE) authorities to lift the travel ban imposed on Ahmed Mansoor and to issue him a passport before the ceremony on 6 October in Geneva (in which the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights participates).

Widely respected as one of the few voices within the UAE to provide a credible independent assessment of human rights developments, Ahmed Mansoor regularly raises concerns regarding arbitrary detention, torture or degrading treatment, and failure to meet international standards of fair trial. He also draws attention to other human rights abuses, including against migrant workers. As a result, Ahmed Mansoor has faced repeated intimidation, harassment, and death threats from the UAE authorities or their supporters, including arrest and imprisonment in 2011 following an unfair trial. He and four other activists who called for democratic rights in the UAE were jailed in 2011 on the charge of “insulting officials”. Although pardoned and released later that year, Ahmed Mansoor has been banned from travel and had his passport confiscated.

Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders

Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders

The Martin Ennals Award Jury today said: “Ahmed Mansoor’s absence at the ceremony would mark a very disappointing position for the UAE, which is a country that prides itself as one of the hubs of international business and tourism in the Middle East, as well a safe haven in the region. As a member of the UN Human Rights Council, which is running for a second term, we expect the UAE authorities to honour their obligations to uphold human rights and protect human rights defenders. The UAE government must match its rhetoric on the international stage with meaningful actions at home, starting with immediately lifting the travel ban on Ahmed Mansoor, to returning and renewing his passport, and allowing him to travel to Geneva for the ceremony.

see also: https://thoolen.wordpress.com/2015/04/29/the-emirates-not-a-paradise-for-human-rights-defenders/

 

 Jury:
–    Amnesty International,
–    Human Rights Watch,
–    Human Rights First,
–    Int’l Federation for Human Rights – (FIDH)
–    World Organisation Against Torture – (OMCT)
–    Front Line Defenders,
–    International Commission of Jurists,
–    EWDE Germany,
–    International Service for Human Rights,
–    HURIDOCS.

for the full text of the statement see: www.martinennalsaward.org or those of the NGOs on the Jury.

4 Responses to “Fly Emirates? If the Emir lets you!”


  1. […] 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. Since being jailed in 2011, he has been denied a passport and banned from travelling. The Martin Ennals Jury has in vain urged the government of the UAE to lift this travel ban and allow him to travel. Martin Ennals 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.” [https://thoolen.wordpress.com/2015/09/15/fly-emirates-if-the-emirs-let-you/] […]


  2. […] Al Zaabi also renewed the UAE’s readiness to co-operate with the High Commissioner, through its continuous contributions to the relevant UN funds. This is fine of course but, more convincing would be if the Emirates would lift the travel ban on their most prominent human rights defender: Ahmed Mansoor: https://thoolen.wordpress.com/2015/10/06/ahmed-mansoor-leading-human-rights-defender-in-the-emirates-is-2015-laureate-mea/ and https://thoolen.wordpress.com/2015/09/15/fly-emirates-if-the-emirs-let-you/ […]


  3. […] Ahmed Mansoor – the 2015 MEA Laureate – was not allowed to come from the UAE to Geneva for his award [https://thoolen.wordpress.com/2015/09/15/fly-emirates-if-the-emirs-let-you/] […]


  4. […] Following a massive crackdown on human rights defenders in the UAE in recent years, Ahmed Mansoor is today widely respected as the only independent voice still speaking out through his blog and Twitter account against human rights violations from inside the country. He was the Laureate of the Martin Ennals Award 2015. [https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2015/10/07/the-link-to-the-full-mea-2015-ceremony-of-6-october/]. Mr. Mansoor has faced repeated intimidation, harassment, and death threats from the UAE authorities or their supporters, including arrest and imprisonment in 2011 following an unfair trial. Although pardoned and released later that year, the UAE authorities have arbitrarily imposed a travel ban on him. [https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2015/09/15/fly-emirates-if-the-emirs-let-you/] […]


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