Prominent Human Rights Activist Ahmed Mansoor in detention for his 49th Birthday

This post is also available in: arالعربية (Arabic)

Geneva, on October 22, 2018

Today marks the 49th birthday of prominent human rights defender Ahmed Mansoor, arbitrarily detained since March 20, 2017. On this occasion, the International Centre for Justice and Human Rights would like to draw the attention of international community about his case and to call for a prompt intervention by the authorities of the United Arab Emirates in order to address his situation.

Since his brief arrest in 2011, Ahmed Mansoor has been working for the advocacy of rights and freedoms by standing up for the victims of human rights violations. He has been systematically targeted by the UAE’s repressive policies ever since. The activist has documented massive political arrests and trials – including the well-known case of the “UAE 94” – and has constantly denounced the campaign of repression aiming at muzzling free speech in the country and threatening fundamental freedoms. Indeed, he is one of the few human rights defenders in the country to be cooperating with the United Nations Special Procedures and human rights NGOs.

Ahmed Mansoor was arrested on March 20, 2017 at 3 am by the State Security forces during a night raid at his home in Ajman. After the State Security officers searched his house and seized all electronic devices, they took Ahmed to an unknown location. He was held incommunicado until March 29, 2017 when Emirati authorities finally disclosed his location, after UN experts condemned the “attack on the legitimate work of human rights defenders in the UAE” and urged the UAE to immediately release him.

He was prosecuted for his postings on social media – in which he denounced the arbitrary detention of other activists – and charged with “publishing false information and rumors” aiming at promoting “sectarianism and hatred”, “harming national unity and social harmony and damaging the country’s reputation.” Ahmed Mansoor was deprived of all fair trial guarantees and sentenced on 29 May 2018 by the Federal Appeal Chamber of the Abu Dhabi Court to 10 years imprisonment and a 1 million dirhams fine on the basis of the 2012 Federal Law on cyber-crimes. He has appealed the sentence before the Supreme Court and is currently waiting for the final judgment.

Despite the multiple actions of the international community and the civil society standing with Ahmed Mansoor, the ICJHR is deeply worried about the UAE’s continuous refusal to release him and other prisoners of opinion. Most recently, the European Parliament issued a resolution calling upon the Emirati government to immediately release Ahmed Mansoor and all prisoners of conscience and to stop any kind of repression against dissident voices in the country.

The ICJHR remains concerned about Ahmed Mansoor’s situation and urges Emirati government to comply with the EU resolution and release the activist without delay. We remind the authorities of the UAE of their international obligations and call upon them to immediately put an end to the crackdown on freedom of speech and release all prisoners of opinion.

This post is also available in: arالعربية (Arabic)

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