UAE: two years since the unfair trial of human rights defender Ahmed Mansoor

This post is also available in: arالعربية (Arabic)

Geneva, 29 May 2020

Two years ago, the activist Ahmed Mansoor was sentenced by the Appeal Chamber of the Federal Court of Abu Dhabi on May 29, 2018, 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 because of his human rights activities on social media in accordance with the requirements of Federal Law No. 5 of 2012 on Combatting Cybercrimes. The verdict was confirmed on the appeal on December 31, 2018. 

Activist Ahmed Mansoor is one of the most prominent human rights defenders in the UAE and one of the signatories of the reform petition in March 2011, he also won the Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders for 2015. 

In September 2019, the annual report of the UN Secretary General about reprisals against those who cooperate with the UN mechanisms cited Mansoor’s case and denounced the reprisals perpetrated against him.

For the record, Mansoor was arrested by the State Security Service on March 20, 2017, at 3 a.m.  at his home in the Emirate of Ajman, for publishing posts on social media that were found by the Public Prosecution of Cyber-Crimes as “provoking sedition, sectarianism and hatred on social media, threatening the national unity and social peace and damaging the State’s reputation” pursuant to the provisions of the Federal Law No. 5 of 2012 on Cyber-Crimes.

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 him 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.

Detained arbitrarily for his human rights activism, Mansoor continues to be targeted and harassed in prison. In fact, he is deprived of his most fundamental human rights and denied the right to access the money sent by his family to buy what he needs in prison. He is not allowed to exercise, walk in the open air or even have a bed. Inside his cell, Mansoor still sleeps on the floor. He was also prevented from contacting his family and lawyer for months.

Ahmed Mansoor went into several hunger strikes in protest against his exposure to ill-treatment, solitary confinement and unfair trial.

The ICJHR remains concerned about the continuous harassment and abuse of human rights activist Ahmed Mansoor, and therefore urges the UAE authorities to:

  1.  immediately and unconditionally, release human rights defender Ahmed Mansoor and conduct a prompt investigation by an independent body into the violations and injustices committed against him.
  2. Hold accountable those found responsible, bring them to justice and give Ahmed Mansoor the right to proper remedy and rehabilitation.

This post is also available in: arالعربية (Arabic)

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