UAE: Human rights defender Ahmed Mansoor’s health is at risk after one year of the verdict

Geneva, May 29, 2019

One year has passed since the unfair trial of Emirati human rights defender and winner of the Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders in 2015 Mr. Ahmed Mansoor. He is currently serving a ten-year jail sentence following the decision of the Appeal Chamber of the Federal Court of Abu Dhabi on May 29, 2018, sentencing him to 10 years imprisonment, a fine of one million dirhams and the confiscation of all his devices in addition to administrative control for three years.

In fact, Ahmed Mansoor went on a hunger strike to protest against the violations he was exposed to such as unfair trial, final judgment without appeal and ill-treatment inside the prison. He was also deprived from seeing his family and lawyer for months and held in solitary confinement since his arrest. Consequently, his health status has rapidly deteriorated as he has lost half of his body weight and can no longer see clearly or stand by himself.

We recall that Ahmed Mansoor was arrested on March 20, 2017 for his posts on social media that were found by the Public Prosecution of cyber-crimes as “inciting to sedition, sectarianism and hatred”, as well as “harming the national unity, social peace and the reputation of the State” pursuant to the provisions of Federal Law No. 5 of 2012 on Cyber-Crimes.

It is quite paradoxical that the UAE authorities are claiming to respect human rights and fundamental freedoms and to uphold the values ​​of tolerance, pluralism and acceptance of the other regardless of the intellectual, cultural, and religious differences, while they are still detaining human rights defender Ahmed Mansoor. They even tend to adopt a national program of tolerance based on the respect for the other and the dissemination of the values of peace and coexistence.

On March 28, 2017, the UN Special Rapporteurs documented in their statement together with the European Parliament’s decision n° RSP / 2862/2018 dated 4 October 2018, the serious violations committed against Ahmed Mansoor including spying on his phone, hacking his data and arresting him among the well-known case of “the UAE 5”. He was also put under administrative control and travel ban before being forcibly hidden on March 20, 2017 to be later arbitrarily detained and tried without fair trial guarantees.

Today, one year since the unjust verdict of Ahmed Mansoor, the International Centre for Justice and Human Rights urges the authorities of the United Arab Emirates to:

  1. Immediately release human rights defender Ahmed Mansoor and conduct an impartial investigation into his grievances.

  2. Hold accountable the guilty and give Ahmed Mansoor the right to a remedy, reparation and rehabilitation.

  3. Allow the UN Special Rapporteurs on the Independence of the Judiciary, the Situation of Human Rights Defenders, the Promotion and Protection of the Right to Freedom of Expression and Opinion and the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights to Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association in addition to the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention and the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances to visit Ahmed Mansoor in jail, examine the conditions of his imprisonment and document the violations and injustices committed against him.

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