ICFUAE Takes Action to Raise Awareness of Latest Wave of Arbitrary Arrests in the UAE
On Wednesday, 12 April 2017, The International Campaign for Freedom in the UAE met supporters in London to raise awareness of ongoing human rights violations in the UAE. In an action launched in front of the Emirates Air Line, people joined the ICFUAE in campaigning for freedom of expression and human rights and to sign a petition calling for the release of prisoners of conscience. Previously, in early April, ICFUAE organised a vigil in front of the UAE Embassy in London, to condemn Ahmed Mansoor’s arbitrary detention.
Freedom of expression and freedom of assembly are routinely violated in the UAE. Government censorship and cyber surveillance enable the government to restrict these freedoms. Ahmed Mansoor, Emirati human rights activist, winner of the 2015 Laureate Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defender was arbitrarily arrested on 20 March 2017, for his online activism. Since then, he has been kept in secret location with no access either to legal assistance or to his family. This places him at high risk of torture or ill-treatment, which is contrary to Article 5 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, “No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. However, torture is often employed as a tool to crackdown on activists and number of arrest are still perpetrated today against people who simply exercised their right to speak out.
Ahmed Mansoor has not been the only one to be arbitrarily detained or sentenced in the last month: Nasser Bin Ghait, Emirati economist and human rights defender has been held in incommunicado detention for 9 months before being sentenced to 10 years in jail. On top of that, online blogger Osama Al Najjar and Jordanian journalist Tayseer Al Najjar have both been condemned to 3 years in prison for having denounced human rights abuses taking place in the UAE.
The ICFUAE urges the UK government to take action against human rights violations in the UAE, calling for the immediate and unconditional release of all prisoners of conscience currently detained in the United Arab Emirates.