UAE urged to lift travel ban on leading activist
Ten human rights groups have called on the United Arab Emirates authorities to lift the travel ban imposed on Emirati activist Ahmed Mansoor, who has been nominated for a human rights defender award.
Widely respected as one of the few voices within the UAE to provide a credible independent assessment of human rights developments in the country, Ahmed Mansoor regularly raises concerns regarding arbitrary detention, torture or degrading treatment, and failure to meet international standards of fair trial.
|Ahmed Mansoor was selected as one of the three finalists of the Martin Ennals Award|
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 became known as UAE Five, called for democratic rights in the UAE and were jailed in 2011 on the charge of “insulting officials”.
There were dozens of other activists who were also interrogated.
Although pardoned and released later that year, Ahmed Mansoor has been banned from travel and had his passport confiscated.
As a result of his courageous work, Ahmed Mansoor was selected as one of the three finalists of the Martin Ennals Award who will be recognised at a ceremony hosted by the city of Geneva on October 6.
However, Ahmed Mansoor will be prevented from attending the ceremony as the UAE authorities have arbitrarily imposed a travel ban on him and have refused to return his passport, which they have confiscated since 2011.
The human rights groups believe that both the travel ban and the confiscation of his passport violate Ahmed Mansoor’s right under international human rights law to freedom of movement, as these measures were taken to punish him for his peaceful human rights activism.