UN experts have called for the release of Ahmed Mansoor, an engineer and poet who was snatched over a week ago by Emirati authorities.
We fear that his arrest and secret detention may constitute an act of reprisal for his engagement with UN human rights mechanisms, for the views he expressed on social media, including Twitter, as well as for being an active member of organisations such as the Gulf Centre for Human Rights, and an active supporter of others, including Human Rights Watch.
Plain clothed security personnel stormed the human rights defender’s house at midnight on 20 March and took him away from his wife and four kids. Since then, international organisations have been staunchly defending Mansoor, demanding the UAE authorities release him.
— ICFUAE (@ICFUAE) March 28, 2017
Upon prosecuting Mansoor, public prosecutors alleged that he had used social media “to publish false information and rumours as well as promoting [a] sectarian and hate-incited agenda.”
They claimed that his posts, which were largely based on inciting freedom of expression in the authoritarian monarchy “harm national unity and social harmony and damage the country’s reputation”.