Jailed UAE lawyer awarded major human rights prize

A UAE lawyer sentenced to 10 years in 2013 for plotting against the regime was on Saturday awarded a major human rights award. Mohammed al-Roken was among 69 people jailed on charges of conspiring to overthrow the government following a mass trial criticised by rights groups. Awarding him the Ludovic Trarieux Award, th e prize committee said Roken had devoted two decades to defending...

al-monitor According to Amnesty International, UAE lawyer Mohammed al-Roken's trial "was marred by allegations of torture which were blatantly ignored" Photo by PIERRE ANDRIEU/AFP/File.

Topics covered

May 27, 2017

A UAE lawyer sentenced to 10 years in 2013 for plotting against the regime was on Saturday awarded a major human rights award.

Mohammed al-Roken was among 69 people jailed on charges of conspiring to overthrow the government following a mass trial criticised by rights groups.

Awarding him the Ludovic Trarieux Award, th

e prize committee said Roken had devoted two decades to defending fundamental freedoms.

A former head of the UAE Jurists' Association, Roken, 54, was arrested in July 2012, after taking on the defence of several government opponents, including seven islamists.

The prize jury lamented that Roken's trial had gone ahead behind closed doors and demanded his immediate release.

Amnesty International's Middle East and North Africa deputy director at the time staunchly criticised both the proceedings and the verdicts.

“Not only do the defendants appear to have been targeted simply because of their views, but they have been convicted on bogus charges and denied the basic right to a fair trial," said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui.

"The only thing this trial shows is the fundamental flaws in the UAE justice system,” she added.

According to Amnesty the trial "was marred by allegations of torture which were blatantly ignored, the rights of defence were flaunted, and independent observers were banned from the court room".

The annual award, which is worth 20,000 euros ($22,000), recognises lawyers of any nationality who have sought to defend human rights, often at great risk to themselves.

The Luxembourg-instigated European Bar Human Rights Institute (IDHAE), made the award, named after Trarieux, who in 1898 founded France's Human Rights League (LDH).

Recommended Articles

Lebanese government under pressure to resign as protests continue
Hanan Hamdan | Beirut explosion | Aug 10, 2020
Turkey strikes PKK targets in Iraqi Kurdistan Sulaimaniyah province
Al-Monitor Staff | Turkish-Kurdish conflict | Aug 8, 2020
IMF calls for Lebanon reforms, explores ways to assist Beirut
Al-Monitor Staff | Beirut explosion | Aug 7, 2020
Google closes YouTube accounts linked to Iranian government
Al-Monitor Staff | Social Media | Aug 7, 2020
Trump administration goes for ‘360 degree’ diplomacy to help end Libya war
Week in Review | Libya conflict | Aug 7, 2020