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Report reveals UAE persecution of rights activist Ahmed Mansoor

Political activist Ahmed Mansoor [Mansourehmi/Twitter]
Emirati activist Ahmed Mansour [Mansourehmi/Twitter]

The Gulf Centre for Human Rights and Human Rights Watch yesterday revealed new details concerning the UAE's persecution and inhumane treatment of detained human rights activist, Ahmed Mansoor.

In a 30-page report entitled "The persecution of Ahmad Mansoor: How the United Arab Emirates silenced its most famous human rights activist", the rights group said Mansoor had been subjected to grave violations without due process and fair trial guarantees, as well as denials of his basic rights as a prisoner.

The report was based on testimonies from a source familiar with Mansoor's trial procedures as well as interviews conducted at various times with former prisoners who had been detained with Mansoor in Al-Sadr prison.

In March 2017, Emirati authorities arrested Mansoor and sentenced him to ten years in jail for "insulting the status and prestige of the UAE and its symbols" over his peaceful call for political reform in the country.

The report said authorities had based their verdict on the penal code and the 2012 cybercrimes law, both of which make the peaceful expression of critical views of the authorities, senior officials, the judiciary, and even public policy a criminal offense and provide a legal basis to prosecute and jail people who call for political reform or organise unlicensed demonstrations.

United Nations human rights experts, the European Parliament and rights groups such as Amnesty International are among those to have urged the UAE to release Mansoor and condemned his detention as a violation of freedom of expression and opinion.

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