3 years in isolation: Join the Twitter storm for Ahmed Mansoor
To mark the 3 year anniversary of human rights activist Ahmed Mansoor’s arrest on Friday 20 March, we are organizing a Twitter storm to call for his immediate and unconditional release.
Who is Ahmed Mansoor?
Ahmed Mansoor is a prominent human rights defender who has worked extensively with international rights organisations to raise awareness of human rights abuses in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). He serves on the advisory boards of the Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR) and Human Rights Watch’s Middle East division. In 2015, he won the prestigious Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders.
On 20 March 2017, he was arrested in a midnight raid on his home and later sentenced to ten years in prison for “defaming the UAE through social media channels”. In the weeks before his arrest, Mansoor had criticized the UAE’s prosecutions of other activists for speech “crimes” and tweeted about rights violations in Egypt and Yemen.
For all of his 3-year detention he has been kept in solitary confinement in a cell without a bed and without access to books, sunlight or fresh air. To protest against these abysmal conditions, he launched two separate hunger strikes in March and September 2019.
During his time in detention, he has also been subjected to beatings and mental abuse by prison warders. Consequently, his health has significantly deteriorated and he is now no longer able to walk.
What can I do to help Ahmed Mansoor?
This Friday we call on anyone who wants to help draw attention to Ahmed’s plight to join our Twitter storm.
It is easy, just post as many tweets as you can throughout the day on Friday using the hashtags #FreeAhmed and #GiveAhmedaBed.
Who shall I address the Tweets to?
You can address the tweets to the United Arab Emirates, in particular to Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum @HHShkMohd, the Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and ask him to #FreeAhmed. You can also tweet to Saif Bin Zayed Al Nahyan @SaifBZayed, the Minister of Interior, who is the authority responsible for prisons in the UAE and Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed bin Sultan Al-Nahyan @MohamedBinZayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi.
You can create your own tweets or use the suggestions below.
On the 3rd anniversary of his arrest, our heart goes out to @Ahmed_Mansoor and his family. He has committed no crime, and shouldn’t have to spend another day in a cell without even a bed to sleep on. We urge @HHShkMohd @MohamedBinZayed to #FreeAhmed or at least #GiveAhmedaBed
Today marks 3 years since @Ahmed_Mansoor’s arrest in 2017. He has spent all of this time in degrading conditions and solitary confinement, which amounts to #torture. His health has deteriorated & he can no longer walk. @HHShkMohd @MohamedBinZayed #FreeAhmed #GiveAhmedaBed
3 years after his arrest @Ahmed_Mansoor remains in prison amid the #COVID19 outbreak. His health has significantly deteriorated following his hunger strikes in protest of torture & extremely poor detention conditions. We fear for his life! #FreeAhmed #GiveAhmedaBed
Is tweeting a crime? In the #UAE it can be! It has been 3 years since leading #HRD @Ahmed_Mansoor ‘s arrest for speaking out against #humanrights violations in the #UAE . We urge @HHShkMohd @MohamedBinZayed to #FreeAhmed.
3 years ago today @Ahmed_Mansoor was arrested for peacefully exercising his right to #FreedomOfSpeech. He remains in prison where he is held in an isolation cell with no mattress and no access to books. #FreeAhmed #GiveAhmedaBed