English PEN is proud to join a Global Week of Action for award-winning human rights defender poet Ahmed Mansoor, currently serving a 10-year prison sentence in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
On 22 October 2019, Ahmed Mansoor will be spending his 50th birthday in prison. In the week leading up to his birthday (16-22 October) his friends and supporters around the world will be coming together to stand in solidarity with him and to continue calling for his immediate and unconditional release.
English PEN has joined over 140 other organisations in sending a joint open letter to the Emirati authorities:
Before his imprisonment, Mansoor was known as ‘the last human rights defender left in the UAE’ on account of his fearless work to document human rights violations in the country. His willingness to speak out publicly in defence of human rights on his blog, via social media and in interviews with international media was an example to us all.
FOUR WAYS TO TAKE ACTION FOR AHMED
1. Join the vigil
On Saturday 19 October, we will be co-hosting a peaceful protest in solidarity with Ahmed Mansoor. If you can, please join us from 3pm at the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates, 1-2 Grosvenor Cres, Belgravia, London SW1X 7EE. Protests will also be taking place in NYC, DC, and Toronto.
2. Join the social media action
Here are some sample tweets you can use right now:
📣 Imprisoned, isolated, and silenced: ‘the last human rights defender left in the #UAE’ @Ahmed_Mansoor is serving a 10-year prison sentence for speaking out for human rights. @BorisJohnson, please call on @MohamedBinZayed to #FreeAhmed and all other prisoners of conscience!
📣 .@Ahmed_Mansoor – a poet, engineer, father, and human rights defender – has been sentenced to 10 years in prison in the #UAE for defending human rights. @FedericaMog please call on @MohamedBinZayed to #FreeAhmed for his 50th birthday this Tuesday!
3. Read and share his poetry
I have no other means now
but a tight-lipped silence in the square and through corridors.
We’re proud to publish an English translation of Ahmed’s poem ‘Final Choice’ as part of the global week of action. Please read and share his writing.
4. Join the event
Human rights in the UAE: Repression at home and abroad
A panel discussion with award-winning Saudi journalist Safa Al Ahmad, academic freedom campaigner and former prisoner Matt Hedges, and Libyan policy analyst Tarek Megerisi.
Date and time: Saturday 19 Oct, 17:00 – 18:30
Location: Amnesty UK, 25 New Inn Yard, London EC2A 3EA