United Arab Emirates: prominent activist imprisoned in danger
(Beirut) – A prominent Emirati human rights defender could face reprisals after a private letter he wrote detailing his mistreatment in detention and his blatantly unfair trial was published in regional media, said Human Rights Watch and the Gulf Center for Human Rights (GCHR) today. Authorities in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have detained Ahmed Mansoor, 51, largely incommunicado, isolated him from other prisoners, and have denied him a bed and mattress since his imprisonment in March 2017. The United Arab Emirates should immediately end Mansoor’s isolation and allow family members and independent persons to monitor his access and confirm his well-being.
Mansoor is in the infamous al-Sadr prison near Abu Dhabi serving his life a 10-year prison sentence pronounced on May 29, 2018, by the State Security Chamber of the Abu Dhabi Court of Appeal following a manifestly unfair trial on false charges. The letter, published on July 16, 2021 by Arab121, a London-based Arab news site, details the serious violations committed by the United Arab Emirates state security agency against Mansoor since his arrest and detention. It describes being held in solitary confinement for an indefinite period, deprived of basic necessities and deprived of any meaningful contact with other prisoners or with the outside world.
“The UAE authorities have spared no effort to silence Ahmed Mansoor, including isolating him in detention for years, but his determination to shed light on the government’s abuses has overcome all obstacles,” he said. said Michael Page, deputy director of the Middle East at Human Rights Watch. âThe UAE authorities’ long history of disregard for the rule of law and the rights of detainees means Mansoor could face serious reprisals in prison. The UAE should immediately allow independent observers access to Mansoor to confirm his safety and well-being. “
The powerful UAE state security agency violated Mansoor’s rights for more than 10 years with arbitrary arrests and detentions, death threats, physical assault, government surveillance and inhuman treatment in detention . He was denied his rights as a prisoner under international human rights law, including the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners.
Human Rights Watch and GCHR detailed the UAE’s mistreatment of Mansoor in January in a 30-page joint report titled “The Persecution of Ahmed Mansoor: How the UAE Silenced Its Human Rights Activist the most famous “.
By keeping Mansoor in solitary confinement for almost four years, which amounts to torture, authorities in the United Arab Emirates are violating their obligations under the United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Treatment or Punishment or Treatment. degradations, which the United Arab Emirates ratified in 2012.
Governments with influence in the UAE, including the US and UK, should immediately urge UAE authorities to allow independent and international observers access to Mansoor and should themselves request regular private visits with Mansoor in prison to verify his safety, Human Rights Watch and GCHR said.
âWe hold the state security apparatus fully responsible for the physical security, welfare and security of Ahmed Mansoor,â said Khalid Ibrahim, Executive Director of GCHR. âAt the same time, we call on the government of the United Arab Emirates to release Ahmed Mansoor immediately and unconditionally, as he is being targeted solely for his peaceful and legitimate human rights activities.