Ahmed Mansoor: UAE rights activist will hear appeal decision on Christmas Eve.
The award-winning Emirati rights activist Ahmed Mansoor will appear before Abu Dhabi’s state security chamber on Monday 24 December to hear the result of an appeal to overturn his 10-year sentence, sources have confirmed.
Often referred to as the last human rights defender speaking out publicly against repression in the Emirates, Mansoor was sentenced to ten years in prison and a fine of one million Dirhams (USD $272,294) in May 18 for “defaming” the UAE on social media.
He appealed this - widely criticised - sentence in October. The final trial at the State Security Chamber of the Federal Appeal Court appears to be scheduled for Monday 24 December. No time has been specified and family members and the press are not permitted to attend. It is also unlikely that Mansoor will be represented by independent legal council, a right frequently denied to him since his initial arrest in March 2017.
The date chosen, Christmas Eve, suggests the UAE authorities are keen to avoid international attention in order to safeguard their reputation abroad.
Ahmed Mansoor is an internationally acclaimed human rights campaigner, the 2015 winner of the Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders and a member of both the advisory committee of Human Rights Watch and the Gulf Centre for Human Rights. He was arrested on 20 March 2017 on suspicion of using social media to publish “flawed information” and “false news” to “incite sectarian strife and hatred” and “harm the reputation of the state”.