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Ludovic-Trarieux International-Human Rights Prize 2017

Prix International des Droits de l'Homme Ludovic-Trarieux 2017

Premio Internacional de Derechos Humanos Ludovic Trarieux 2017

Premio Internazionale per i Diritti Umani Ludovic Trarieux 2017

Internationalen Ludovic-Trarieux-Menschenrechtspreis 2017

Prêmio Internacional de Direitos Humanos Ludovic Trarieux 2017

Ludovic Trarieux Internationale Mensenrechtenprijs 2017


 Since 1984


“The award given by lawyers to a lawyer”

“L’hommage des avocats à un avocat ”

“El homenaje de abogados a un abogado

“L'omaggio degli avvocati ad un avvocato”

“Die Hommage von Anwälten zu einem Anwalt”

« De award gegeven door advocaten aan een advocaat »




The XXIInd  "Ludovic-Trarieux" Human Rights International Prize 2017


 awarded to




Mohammed al-Roken

(United Arab Emirates)


XXIInd  "Ludovic-Trarieux" Human Rights International Prize 2017


A Jury composed of 27 european lawyers coming from the bars of Paris, Bordeaux, Amsterdam, Berlin, Brussels, Geneva, Luxemburg, Roma, Athens, Venice Venezia together with the European Bar Human Rights Institute (IDHAE) and the Union Internationale des Avocats (UIA) meeting in Academie de France, in Villa Medicis in Rome, on May 27th 2017, awarded the 22nd  prestigious Ludovic trarieux Human Rights Prize to lawyer Mohammed al-Roken (United Arab Emirates).

In electing  Mohammed al-Roken, the jury wanted to "hail the courage" of a a leading human rights lawyer who provides legal assistance to victims of human rights abuses in the UAE, including to fellow human rights defenders. He is currently serving a ten-year prison sentence as a result of a mass trial of 94 human rights defenders and political activists in the UAE.


32 years after Nelson Mandela Mohammed al Roken winner of the Ludovic Trarieux prize 2017





Mohammed Al-Roken, 54, is a leading human rights lawyer who provides legal assistance to victims of human rights abuses in the UAE, including to fellow human rights defenders. He was one of the defence lawyers in last year’s prominent case of five political activists – known as the ‘UAE 5’–a group of five individuals who were sentenced to between two and three years’imprisonment for petitioning the government for legislative reforms in 2011. He also represented the UAE 7, a group of seven individuals stripped of their citizenship by the government in 2011.


Mohammed Al-Roken was arrested on 17 July 2012 as he drove to a Dubai police station to report the disappearance five hours earlier of his son Rashid Mohammed al-Roken and son-in-law ‘Abdullah al-Hajeri. That was a part of a wave of mass arrests that began in March 2012. The government initiated the campaign of arrests after a group of prominent activists, including al-Roken, sent a petition to the president calling for legislative reforms. Security forces detained him while he was on his way to a police station to report the disappearance of his son and son-in-law amidst the government’s crackdown.


The day after his arrest, the UN called on the UAE to guarantee the protection of human rights defenders, citing al-Roken’s arrest and noting : “national security is increasingly being used as a pretext to clamp down on peaceful activism.”


On 27 January 2013, the attorney general stated that the '94 Emirati suspects’were accused of "launching, establishing and running an organization seeking to oppose the basic principles of the UAE system of governance and to seize power" and "communicating with individuals and international and foreign entities and establishments based outside the State in order to distort the image of the State."


On March 4, 2013, the trial opened in what has become known as the 'UAE 94’case, opened against the 94 people arrested in the government’s mass arrest campaign. Many of the defendants are believed to be members of the Reform and Social Guidance Association (al-Islah), a peaceful group that advocates for greater adherence to Islamic precepts. Al-Islah has never been known to use or advocate the use of any violence.



On July 2, 2013, the UAE State Security Court sentenced 68 of the 94 critics for allegedly “plotting to overthrow the state”. Mohammed al-Roken was sentenced to 10 years in prison. The mass trial, known as the 94 trial, sparked condemnation from human rights organizations and the international media alike.


While in detention Mohammed Al-Roken has been denied several of his basic rights including access to his lawyer. In addition to this it has been reported that the authorities have subjected him to psychological intimidation They kept him in solitary confinement without furniture or personal items, and denied him access to his lawyer.


Mohammed Al-Roken had been an associate professor of public law and assistant dean of the Faculty of Shari'a and Law at the U.A.E. National University from 1992 to 2002. He is a noted author of books and articles on a wide range of legal matters. In the past few years, he has spoken and written forcefully on human rights issues, especially with respect to the situation of expatriate workers in the U.A.E. The government has curtailed his teaching, imposed restrictions on his writing and public speaking, and has on two occasions in 2006 detained him for questioning about his human rights activities

In 2008 the UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General on the situation of human rights defenders expressed concern at the treatment of Mohammed al-Roken.









Deliberation Room 2017



(President and then  alphabetic order)




Bertrand Favreau 


Vice-President Dominique Attias

President Christian Charriere-Bournazel 

President Grégoire Mangeat 

President Yves Oschinsky

President Bernard Quesnel

President Pierre Pierre Sculier 

President Anton Giulio Lana

President Jean-Jacques Uettwiller

Brigitte Azema-Peyret 

Laurence Azoux-Bacrie 

Thierry Bontinck 

Federico Cappelletti 

Zbigniew Cichon

Nicole Derhy

Carlos Fatás Mosquera 

Mary-Daphné Fishelson 

Clarissa Freundorfer 

Giulia Jaeger 

Christina Kountouri 

Fanny Margairaz 

Mario Melillo

Agaath S. Reijnders-Sluis 

Alessio Sangorgi 

Adrie van de Streek 

Haris Tagaras




“The tribute given by lawyers to a lawyer”


Created in 1984, the "International Human Rights Prize Ludovic -Trarieux” is awarded to " a lawyer, regardless of nationality or Bar, who thoroughout 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 the oldest and most prestigious award given to a lawyer in the world, commemorating the memory of the French lawyer, Ludovic Trarieux (1840-1904), who in the midst of the Dreyfus Affair, in France, in 1898, founded the " League for the Defence of Human Rights and the Citizen ", because, he said: " It was not only the single cause of a man which was to be defended, but behind this cause, law, justice, humanity ".


The first Prize was awarded on March 29th, 1985 to Nelson Mandela then in jail. It was officially presented to his daughter, Zenani Mandela Dlamini, on April 27th 1985, in front of forty presidents of Bars and Law Societies from Europe and Africa. It was the first award given to Mandela in France and the first around the world given by lawyers. On February 11th 1990, Nelson Mandela was released. Since then, it was decided that the Prize would be awarded again.


Since 2003, the Prize is awarded every year in partnership by the Human Rights Institute of The Bar of Bordeaux, the Human Rights Institute of the Bar of Paris, the Human Rights Institute of The Bar of Brussels, l'Unione forense per la tutela dei diritti dell'uomo (Roma), Rechtsanwaltskammer Berlin, the Bar of Luxemburg, the Bar of Geneva, the Bar of Amsterdam as well as the Union Internationale des Avocats (UIA), and the European Bar Human Rights Institute (IDHAE) whose members are the biggest european law societies fighting for human rights. It is presented every year in a city that is home to one of the member Institutes.


1985: Nelson MANDELA (South Africa)

1992: Augusto ZÚÑIGA PAZ (Peru) †

1994: Jadranka CIGELJ (Bosnia-Herzegovina)

1996 Nejib HOSNI (Tunisia) and Dalila MEZIANE (Algeria).

1998 ZHOU Guoqiang (China)

2000 Esber YAGMURDERELI (Turkey)

2002 Mehrangiz KAR (Iran)

2003 Digna OCHOA and Bárbara ZAMORA (Mexico)

2004: Akhtam NAISSE (Syria)

2005: Henri BURIN DES ROZIERS (Brazil)

2006: Parvez IMROZ (India)

2007 : René GÓMEZ MANZANO (Cuba)

2008 : U AYE MYINT (Burma)

2009 : Beatrice MTETWA (Zimbabwe)

2010 : Karinna MOSKALENKO (Russia)

2011 : Fethi TERBIL (Libya)

2012 : Muharrem ERBEY (Turkey)

2013 : Vadim KURAMSHIN (Kazakhstan)

2014 : Mahienour el-MASSRY (Egypt)

2015 : Waleed Abu al-KHAIR (Saudi Arabia)

2016: WANG Yu (China)





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