Posts Tagged ‘MEA 2015’

Reprisals against children of Human Rights Defenders in UAE

October 11, 2015

The second case concerning children of human rights defenders is a more general category as described by Rebecca Sheff in a blog on Human Rights First: “Reprisals Against Children of Human Rights Defenders in UAE“.

She reports that on 8 October 2015, the U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child released a report expressing “concern” about the United Arab Emirates’ treatment of human rights defenders and their families. It noted that the government has been persecuting the children of defenders, restricting their “rights to education, identity documents, to freedom of movement and to keep contact with their detained parents.” The Convention on the Rights of the Child requires the UAE to protect children against discrimination or punishment on the basis of the status, activities, expressed opinions, or beliefs of their parents. The UAE’s acts of intimidation violate children’s fundamental rights and inhibit the work of defenders. Dozens of political prisoners in the UAE are serving long prison sentences after being convicted in a mass unfair trial in 2013.  ….The Committee on the Rights of the Child also expressed concern “about the reported continuous harassment of human rights defenders in the State party, which greatly undermines the emergence of a vibrant civil society as well as the protection and promotion of children’s rights.” The lack of a robust civil society in the UAE means that children’s rights issues are neglected and violations go unaddressed. Ahmed Mansoor, a prominent human rights defender in the UAE, recently received the 2015 Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders.

Indeed one of the most moving scenes in the film on the work of MEA Laureate Mansoor was when he told how his own child did not recognize him after a stay in detention: (minutes 5.20)

 

Source: Reprisals Against Children of Human Rights Defenders in UAE | Human Rights First

Ahmed Mansoor, leading human rights defender in the Emirates, is 2015 Laureate MEA

October 6, 2015

BREAKING NEWS: Ahmed Mansoor was just announced during the ceremony in Geneva as the 2015 MEA Laureate [6 October 2015].  Since 2006, Ahmed Mansoor (United Arab Emirates) has focussed on initiatives concerning freedom of expression, civil and political rights. He successfully campaigned in 2006-2007 to support two people jailed for critical social comments, who were released and the charges dropped. Shortly after, the Prime Minister of UAE issued an order not to jail journalists in relation to their work. Mr Mansoor is one of the few voices within the United Arab Emirates who provides a credible independent assessment of human rights developments. He regularly raises concerns on arbitrary detention, torture, international standards for fair trials, non-independence of the judiciary, and domestic laws that violate international law.

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/]

Ahmed Mansoor’s message (recorded on video before the ceremony): 

The Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders (MEA) is a unique collaboration among ten of the world’s leading human rights organizations to give protection to human rights defenders worldwide. The Jury is composed of the following NGOs:

Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders

Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders

–  Amnesty International,

–    FIDH,

–    Human Rights First,

–    HURIDOCS,

–    International Service for Human Rights,

–    EWDE Germany,

–    Front Line Defenders,

–  Human Rights Watch,

–  International Commission of Jurists,

–    World Organisation Against Torture.

The two other finalists received Martin Ennals Prizes:

Robert Sann Aung (Myanmar)

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

Asmaou Diallo (Guinea)

Her human rights work started following the events of 28 September 2009 when the Guinean military attacked peaceful demonstrators. She founded l’Association des Parents et Amis des Victimes du 28 septembre 2009 (APIVA), which assists those affected, and supports them to testify in court proceedings.

Electronic version of the press kit with Video: http://bit.ly/1DYqlFn

For further information, please contact: khambatta@martinennalsaward.org

 

 

Watch the live stream of the Martin Ennals Award ceremony on Tuesday

October 5, 2015

On 6 October, the ceremony of the Martin Ennals Award can be followed on https://www.youtube.com/embed/Bs5tMd0JWSA.

(at 18h00 Geneva time)

https://thoolen.wordpress.com/2015/06/22/martin-ennals-2015-ceremony-will-be-held-on-6-october-in-geneva/

Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders 2015: nominations until 9 December

October 16, 2014

Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders

Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders

The Martin Ennals Foundation is accepting nominations for the 2015 Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders.The goal of the program is to extend recognition and protective publicity to those who are currently involved in frontline work involving the promotion and protection of human rights. Recent recipients include individuals and organizations from Bangladesh, China, Chechnya, Cambodia, Uganda, Syria, Iran, Uzbekistan, Burundi, Sri Lanka, and Zimbabwe. The award is granted annually to an individual or, in exceptional cases, an organization in recognition of their commitment and ongoing efforts in the defense and promotion of human rights. Nominees must currently be involved in work for the promotion and protection of human rights. Priority is given to those who are at risk and have demonstrated an active record of combating human rights violations by courageous and innovative means. The program aims to encourage and promote the work of individuals or organizations, particularly if they are working in conditions hostile to fundamental human rights and are in need of protection.No posthumous awards are given except when a candidate has already passed the first round [as happened this year with Cao Shunli]. The candidate should not use or advocate violence. Anybody can nominate an individual or organization. Neither individuals nor organizations may nominate themselves. The present value of the annual award is 20,000 Swiss francs, which should be used for further work in the field of human rights. All 3 Final Nominees will be invited to the award ceremony which is hosted by the City of Geneva in late 2015.

The deadline is 9 December 2014

Program guidelines in English, French, and Spanish, FAQ, online nomination form, and information about previous recipients are available at the website: www.martinennalsaward.org

via Martin Ennals Foundation Invites Nominations for Human Rights Defenders Award | RFPs | PND.