UAE: Three months since the unjust sentence of Ahmed Mansoor

This post is also available in: arالعربية (Arabic)

Genève, 06 September 2018

The authorities of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are intentionally intimidating and threatening human rights activists and unlawfully arresting them, so they won’t expose the State Security Service’s gross human rights violations against human rights activists.

Indeed, this is the case of human rights activist and winner of the Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders in the year 2015, Ahmed Mansoor, who was arrested because of his posts on social media in which he defended other human rights activists and exposed their rights’ violations.

The prosecution of technical crimes considered these posts as an incitement to sedition, sectarianism and hatred on social media and claimed that they would harm the national unity, social peace, reputation and prestige of the country and would incite others to transgress the law in accordance with the Federal Law No. 5 of 2012 on cyber-crimes.

On March 20, 2017, the house of Ahmad Mansoor was raided at 3:00 am in the Emirate of Ajman. All the rooms and their contents were searched, in addition to the fact that all the computers and mobile phones, including those of the children and the wife, were confiscated without any judicial warrant. Agents from the state Security apparatus took him later to a secret detention center.

In fact, Emirati officials did not disclose about his detention in the central prison of Abu Dhabi only on March 29, 2017, after that the UN experts affirmed the arbitrary detention of human rights activist Ahmed Mansoor on 28 March 2017 and urged the authorities of the UAE to immediately release him and considered their violations as “a direct attack on the legitimate work of Human Rights defenders in the United Arab Emirates. “

Despite the numerous appeals of UN special procedures and international organizations, the authorities of the UAE banned him from having fair trial guarantees and denied him the right to choose his lawyer. They also did not allow the lawyer to individually and privately visit him in order to prepare his defense and limited visits for his family. Besides, The Federal Appeal Chamber of the Abu Dhabi Court sentenced him on 29 May 2018 to 10 years imprisonment and a fine of 1 million dirhams as well as administrative control for three years after serving the sentence.

This judgment can be appealed before the Federal Supreme Court following the amendment of Decree No. 11 of 2016, which legislatively enshrined the right to double-hearing after the State Security Service of the Federal Supreme Court used to issue final judgments that cannot be appealed in any way. The information regarding Ahmed Mansoor’s appeal is not confirmed at this time.

The International Centre for Justice and Human Rights calls upon the authorities of the United Arab Emirates to:

  1. Immediately and unconditionally release human rights defender Ahmed Mansoor, who is being solely tried for exercising his right to freedom of expression and for his human rights activities as well as defense of victims of human rights violations.

  2. Open an impartial investigation into his house’s raid and search and his detention without a warrant, in addition to his exposure to torture, ill-treatment, enforced disappearance and arbitrary detention, and hold accountable all those involved in these violations before a fair judiciary and give him his right to remedy, rehabilitation and reparation for the damage he has been subject to.

  3. To refrain from intimidating and harassing human rights defenders and stop persecuting or threatening them with judicial or administrative prosecution when carrying out their human rights activities.

  4. Abstain from putting them under wiretapping, spying on them as well as violating their privacy, and providing them with a secure and safe environment to exercise their human rights activities and ensuring their enjoyment of the right to freedom of expression and association.

  5. To allow the Special Rapporteurs on the Independence of the Judiciary, Human Rights Defenders, the Promotion and Protection of the Right to Freedom of Expression and Opinion, Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association, as well as the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention and the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances to visit human rights activist Ahmed Mansoor and examine the conditions of his imprisonment and document the violations he has been subject to.

This post is also available in: arالعربية (Arabic)

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