Ahmed Mansoor declares hunger strike over poor prison conditions and unfair trial
Reliable sources have confirmed that leading Emirati human rights activist, Ahmed Mansoor, has been on hunger strike for nearly three weeks in protest over his inhumane detention conditions and unfair trial.
He is allegedly being held in solitary confinement, in a cell with no bed or running water, and with no access to a shower, local sources told the Gulf Centre for Human Rights, who added that is health had deteriorated significantly since being detained in al-Sadr prison.
Ahmed Mansoor is one of the world’s most prominent human rights defenders. Over the years he has worked extensively with international organisations to advocate for basic civil and political rights in the UAE. He has a seat on the advisory committee at Human Rights Watch and the Gulf Centre for Human Rights.
In May 2018, he was sentenced to 10 years in prison for “defaming the UAE through social media channels.” An appeal to overturn this verdict was rejected on 31 December 2018.
Prior to his trial Ahmed Mansoor was held without charge for over a year in an unverified location and was denied the right to appoint a lawyer of his choosing. Nor did he have access to independent legal counsel during his trial.
His case has sparked significant international condemnation. Notably, from a number of United Nations human rights experts, the European Parliament’s Subcommittee on human rights (DROI), the European Parliament and multiple human rights organisations, including Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, who have repeatedly called for the annulment of his sentence and his immediate and unconditional release.