On the one-year anniversary of his arbitrary detention, ICFUAE demand the immediate and unconditional release of Ahmed Mansoor!
Today marks a year since the arbitrary detention of the award-winning human rights defender Ahmed Mansoor.
Despite increasingly loud calls from various sections of the international community to do so, the UAE authorities have so far shown no sign that they intend to release the human rights activist.
On 20 March 2017, Mansoor was arrested by UAE authorities after 12 plain-clothed Emirati security officials stormed his family home in Ajman in the early hours before taking him to an unknown location.
The following day, an official state-run news website announced that Mansoor had been arrested on the orders of the Public Prosecution for Cybercrimes and would be detained on charges for “using social media [including Twitter and Facebook] sites to publish false and misleading information that harms national unity and social harmony and damages the country’s reputation” and “promoting sectarian and hate-incited agenda.”
Despite this however Mansoor is yet to be officially charged by authorities. According to Amnesty International, the human rights defender is being held in a state of solitary confinement in an unknown location without access to a lawyer. This places him at grave risk of torture and other forms of ill-treatment.
Mansoor's continued detention has been heavily condemned by various international bodies and organisations. Shortly following his arrest last year, a group of UN human rights experts released a statement describing Mansoor’s arrest as a “direct attack” on human rights defenders everywhere.
As well as this, a coalition of notable figures and organisations released a joint letter earlier this year calling for the immediate and unconditional release of the Emirati human rights defender. The letter was signed by dozens of academics, lawyers, authors and MPs, such as the American linguist and philosopher, Noam Chomsky, British barrister, Michael Mansfield QC, the co-leader of the Green Party, Caroline Lucas MP, and UAE torture survivor David Haigh.
Ahmed Mansoor is an internationally renowned human rights activist with a long and prominent history of speaking out in favour of human rights in the UAE. Over the years, he has worked extensively with international rights organisations to raise awareness to issues of injustice in the country. He is a member of the Gulf Centre for Human Rights and has a seat on the advisory committee at Human Rights Watch. In 2015, he won the prestigious Martin Ennals Award for human rights defenders.
On the one-year anniversary of Ahmed Mansoor’s detention, ICFUAE reiterate its call for his immediate and unconditional release.
- Mansoor’s continued detention is in violation of international law which guarantees the right to freedom of speech and assembly, as well as the right to counsel in the case of arrest.
- Pending his release, however, the Emirati authorities must ensure Mansoor has access to a lawyer and adequate medical care, as well as disclose his location immediately and provide assurances that the human rights defender is protected from torture and other ill-treatment.