UAE human rights defender Ahmed Mansoor denied contact with his family

Geneva, 18 June 2020

According to our information, human rights activist Ahmed Mansoor, who is currently imprisoned in Al-Sadr jail, was denied contact with his family since the holy month of Ramadan until today without due reason. Visits have been banned from the prison since the beginning of the Coronavirus outbreak in the country. 

This raises concerns about his possible infection of COVID-19, especially with the spread of the epidemic inside UAE prisons and the authorities’ blackout on the illness and their failure to provide the necessary precautions to prevent it, including tests, sanitary conditions and social distancing as recommended by the World Health Organization. 

This is not the first time that Al-Sadr prison administration has prevented Mansoor from receiving family visits and contacting his lawyer. They have also deliberately abused him and neglected his health status; he was put in solitary confinement and prevented to receive money or exercise in the open air, which led him to go into a hunger strike in protest against these punitive measures.

The ICJHR confirms that the prisoner’s right to communicate with the outside world and to have family, lawyers and doctors visits is guaranteed by Federal Law No. 43 of 1992 on Regulating Penal Institutions and the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners and the Body of Principles for the Protection of All Persons under Any Form of Detention or Imprisonment.

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

He was arrested by the State Security Service on March 20, 2017 for posting tweets defending victims of human rights violations. The Appeal Chamber of the Federal Court in Abu Dhabi sentenced him on May 29, 2018 to 10 years’ imprisonment and a fine of one million dirhams, in addition to the confiscation of all his electronic devices and administrative control for three Years.

On March 28, 2017, the UN Special Rapporteurs and the European Parliament documented in their resolution of RSP / 2862/2018 dated October 4, 2018, the gross human rights violations perpetrated against Ahmed Mansoor.

In view of the above, the International Center for Justice and Human Rights calls upon the UAE authorities to allow Ahmed mansoor to communicate with his family and contact his lawyer and international organizations remotely by phone or Internet and refrain from ill-treating him in jail.

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