Pro-UAE Stance: Examining Jean-Luc Schaffhauser’s Defense of Ahmed Mansoor’s Imprisonment

Jean-Luc Schaffhauser, who served as a Member of the European Parliament representing Île-de-France from 2014 to 2019, has displayed a pro-UAE inclination by defending the UAE’s choice to keep Ahmed Mansoor in prison

In 2018, MEP Jean-Luc Schaffhauser, a member of France’s Front National and the Parliament’s ENF group, requested speaking time regarding a European Parliament resolution on the human rights of activist Ahmed Mansoor. During his speech, Schaffhauser expressed his belief that Mansoor should remain in prison, citing his association with spreading what he considered to be a negative message about the Muslim Brotherhood. Despite Mansoor’s imprisonment without a fair trial and his solitary confinement, Schaffhauser focused more on highlighting the perceived dangers of the Muslim Brotherhood and Qatar. He argued that the West was being blinded by the allure of the Brotherhood’s influence.

The former MEP emphasised that certain Muslim states, in contrast to our own countries, have recognized the severe threat the Muslim Brotherhood poses to freedom, echoing the narrative promoted by the UAE. He further highlighted that the Emirates, along with other nations, have officially labelled the organisation as a terrorist group. According to him, these states demonstrate a clear understanding and prioritise the protection of their citizens, while the West is often susceptible to the deceptive rhetoric and allure of the Brotherhood.

In the latter part of his speech, Schaffhauser accused Mansoor of acting as an agent for the Muslim Brotherhood, aligning with the UAE’s perspective on imprisoning Mansoor. Schaffhauser referred to Mansoor as a “repeat offender,” alluding to his prior imprisonment. 

Additionally, in 2019, it came to light that Schaffhauser had facilitated an €8 million loan from a UAE-based bank to the Front National, which was facing significant financial difficulties at the time. Some sources have also alleged that Schaffhauser holds a UAE passport, although this claim remains unverified.

The actions and statements of Jean-Luc Schaffhauser raise questions about his impartiality and the extent of his alignment with the UAE’s interests. The intertwining of political positions, financial transactions, and alleged ties to the UAE warrant further scrutiny to ensure transparency, accountability, and the safeguarding of democratic principles within the European Parliament.

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