UAE: Two years since the arrest of human rights defender Ahmed Mansoor

Geneva, on March 20, 2019

Today marks two years since the State Security forces arrested Ahmed Mansoor, human rights defender and winner of the Martin Ennals Award in 2015, at his home in Ajman and taken to a secret detention centre. He was arrested for exposing human rights violations in the country on social media and for defending prisoners of conscience and victims of human rights abuses.

Mansoor was prosecuted for his posts on social media, considered by the prosecution as an incitement to sedition, sectarianism and hatred, which harms national unity, social peace, reputation and prestige of the country under the Federal Law No. 5 of 2012 on cyber-crimes.

Ahmed Mansoor was tried by the Abu Dhabi Federal Appeal Court and convicted on May 29, 2018, for defaming the UAE. He was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment and fined one million dirhams. The court also ordered that he be put under surveillance for the three years following his release and the confiscation of all his electronic devices. In December 2018, the Federal Supreme Court upheld the judgment.

Human rights defender Ahmed Mansoor has been subjected to systematic violations. On March 28, 2017, the UN experts issued a statement confirming the arbitrary nature of his arrest and demanding his immediate release.


On October 4, 2018, the European Parliament adopted a resolution calling for the release of Ahmed Mansoor and enumerating a series of significant human rights violations perpetrated against him. He was subjected to physical assaults, police surveillance, travel ban and deprived of his fair trial guarantees.

Held at Al-Razeen prison, Mansoor has been subjected to systematic ill-treatment and poor detention condition, which seriously affected his health condition. Nevertheless, he was deprived of medical care, prevented from contacting his family or having access to proper legal counsel.

The ICJHR urges the UAE authorities to:

  • Immediately and unconditionally release Ahmed Mansoor;

  • Open an impartial investigation into the alleged violations and put an end to all abuses against him and other victims;

  • Guarantee him the right to remedy, rehabilitation and reparation for the damage he has been subject to;

  • Allow the Special Procedures to visit human rights activist Ahmed Mansoor and monitor his conditions of detention.

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