On National Poetry Day, release Emirati poet Ahmed Mansoor
Today, on National Poetry Day, we urge you to release distinguished poet and leading human rights activist Ahmed Mansoor. Reliable sources have confirmed that Mansoor re-launched his hunger strikes in early September in protest against his inhumane treatment while in solitary confinement at al-Sadr prison. His health is now in serious jeopardy and his release vital.
Mansoor launched this second hunger strike approximately three weeks ago in response to a severe beating by prison warders in reprisal for his protests against his ongoing unjust detention. According to sources inside the prison, this has left visible marks on his face.
The resultant weight loss has further exacerbated existing health problems that have emerged from his mistreatment in prison, as well as from his previous hunger strike that began on March 17 this year and lasted nearly six weeks, leaving him “very weak.”
Mansoor, a member of the Gulf Centre for Human Rights and recipient of the prestigious Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders, was arbitrarily detained in March 2017 and held in an unknown location without access to legal counsel. He was eventually sentenced in May 2018 to ten years for “defaming the UAE through social media channels.”