The Ludovic Trarieux Human Rights Prize Awarded to Emirati lawyer Mohammed Al-Roken
On November 10, 2017, a jury of 24 European lawyers, and members of the European Bar Human Rights Institute and the Union Internationale des Avocats (UIA – International Association of Lawyers), awarded the Ludovic Trarieux International Human Rights Prize to Dr Mohammed Al-Roken, a UAE lawyer.
Mohammed al-Roken is a lawyer who is deeply committed to the cause of human rights and the rule of law in the United Arab Emirates. He was a prominent member of the UIA, where, as Vice President of the UAE National Committee, he drew attention to the obstacles facing the rule of law and the difficulties encountered by his fellow lawyers in the UAE.
Mohammed al-Roken was arrested on July 17, 2012 during a series of mass arrests of human rights activists, judges, intellectuals and student community leaders. These arrests followed a petition that called for reforms to bring greater democratisation to the UAE.
On July 2, 2013, he was sentenced to 10 years in prison, including a 3-year probation period, because he created an organisation allegedly designed to overthrow the government. He also is prohibited from practising law.
The Ludovic Trarieux Prize Created in 1984, the "Ludovic Trarieux International Human Rights Prize,” named after a French lawyer and politician, is the oldest reward given to a lawyer. This award, "given by lawyers to lawyers,” is granted to a lawyer “who throughout his career has illustrated, by his activity or his suffering, the defence of human rights, the promotion of defence rights, the supremacy of law, and the struggle against racism and intolerance in any form.” It is awarded based on suggestions from human rights NGOs, lawyers’ associations and bar associations from all over the world.