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what do you think about the UPR recommendations to the United Arab Emirates?



Geneva, September 27, 2017

Six months have passed since the arrest of human rights activist and winner of the Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders in 2015 Ahmed Mansoor, after the UAE State Security broke into his family home on 20 March 2017 at 3 am in the Emirate of Ajman in the UAE and searched all the rooms and their contents including the children's rooms. They also confiscated his computer, mobile phones and other electronic devices, including those of the children and his wife, without having any judicial warrant.

On March 28, UN human rights experts issued an urgent appeal to the UAE government calling for the immediate release of Ahmed Mansoor and for the disclosure of his whereabouts. They also praised his significant human rights activism and they deeply criticized his arbitrary arrest.

Emirati authorities subsequently published a statement acknowledging Ahmed Mansoor's arrest by the Federal public prosecution for information technology crimes and his detention in Abu Dhabi Central Prison on charges of “publishing false and shaded information on the Internet." Despite the numerous appeals by human rights organizations, the UAE has not released human rights activist Ahmed Mansoor to date, but has been subjected to several violations of his personal safety, freedom and dignity and not allowed to contact his lawyer or family. The family was only allowed a brief visit under surveillance two weeks after his arrest on 3 April 2017 at the Abu Dhabi Public Prosecutor's Office.

Human rights activist Ahmed Mansoor is being held in solitary confinement and denied the most basic rights conferred to detainees in accordance with the Body of Principles for the Protection of All Persons under Any Form of Detention or Imprisonment, adopted by UN General Assembly Resolution 43/173 on 9 December 1988.

Six months have passed and the UAE authorities refuse to change their position on human rights activist Ahmed Mansoor and insist on his detention on the basis of his activities on social media and his defense of human rights and freedom of expression. Indeed, he has already been subject to some violations including tracking on his mobile phone, which is against the right to privacy, and travel ban for his human rights activism as well as imprisonment within the well-known case of the "UAE 5" on charges of offending the state governors back in 2011.

The International Centre for Justice and Human Rights (ICJHR) expresses its deep concern over the continued detention of Ahmed Mansoor and its fear of his exposure to torture and ill-treatment because of the frequent testimonies and information about the methods of torture, pressure and threats carried out by the State Security Service in detention centers and during interrogation periods.

The ICJHR therefore calls upon the authorities of the United Arab Emirates to:

  1. Promptly and unconditionally release the human rights defender Ahmed Mansoor and desist from violating his rights
  2. Disclose the unknown circumstances of his detention and reveal his fate after six months of interrogation and arbitrary detention as well as provide him with the appropriate health care and grant him his full right to have periodic family visits and to contact a lawyer
  3. Open an impartial and independent investigation into the rights violations of activist Ahmed Mansoor including the raiding and inspection of his house as well as the confiscation of computers and mobile phones without any judicial authorization, and to hold the violators accountable in order to prevent their impunity and give Mr. Mansoor the right to remedy and redress.
  4. Ratify the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance and other treaties and implement the recommendations made by the UAE during the Human Rights Periodic Review in 2013 before attending the Periodic Review of 2018.

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