Amnesty International has renewed its demand for the release of the UAE activist Ahmed Mansour who has been detained since 20 March.
The human rights organisation said as many as 19,784 people have signed its petition calling for his release.
On its website, Amnesty said Mansour’s arrest was part of the UAE’s practices against human rights activists where many are tortured.
“At around midnight on 20 March, a group of 12 security officials entered Ahmed Mansour’s family home in the city of Ajman and conducted an extensive search for electronic devices. Around three hours later, they took Ahmed Mansour to an undisclosed location, and confiscated all the family’s mobile phones and laptops, including those belonging to his children. Ahmed Mansoor’s family did not hear from him for the next two weeks.”
“On 3 April, he was taken from his place of detention to a prosecutor’s office in Abu Dhabi for one short supervised family visit.”
He has not been permitted calls with his family. He is being held in solitary confinement and has not had access to a lawyer.
The UAE’s Public Prosecution for Cyber-crimes accused Ahmed of using social media websites to “publish false information and rumours”; “promote [a] sectarian and hate-incited agenda”; and “publish false and misleading information that harm national unity and social harmony and damage the country’s reputation”.
Amnesty noted that Mansour is the latest human rights activist in the UAE who has been arrested “solely for defending human rights” adding that It is common for detainees to be tortured and “we fear that Ahmed will face a similar fate”.
“The authorities are punishing Ahmed for using social media to exercise his right to free speech. He is a prisoner of conscience, detained and punished simply for exercising his rights,” it added.