Pier Antonio Panzeri (S&D, IT), Chair of the Subcommittee on Human Rights on the arrest of Ahmed Mansoor, human rights defender in the United Arab Emirates and 2015 Martin Ennals Award laureate:
"I call on the authorities of the United Arab Emirates to unconditionally release Ahmed Mansoor, following his arrest based on charges that include disseminating false information to promote sedition, hatred, and damage to national unity. All charges against him should be dropped, as they appear to be motivated only by his legitimate and peaceful human rights work. Equally, his and his family's total security and integrity should be guaranteed by the authorities and all his confiscated possessions be returned.
I regret that Ahmed Mansoor had already been targeted for his work on human rights in the past, which included a prison sentence and travel ban as well as other forms of reprisals and harassment. The travel ban should be lifted and his passport returned to him.
Human rights defenders should be able to carry out their legitimate and peaceful activities all around the world without fear of reprisals and free of all restrictions including judicial harassment. I have written to the Ambassador to raise this case, requesting that the UAE authorities also reveal Ahmed Mansoor’s whereabouts and allow him access to family members and a lawyer. I count on the EEAS and EU Member States to provide all appropriate support to Mr Mansoor in his ordeal, in line with the EU Guidelines on Human Rights Defenders".