Prisoner of conscience remains in prison three months after completing his sentence
The Emirati prisoner of conscience, Mansoor al-Ahmadi, continues to be detained despite the expiry of his 7-year prison sentence over three months ago, on grounds of “posing a terrorist threat”. No information or evidence supporting this claim has been issued by the UAE authorities.
Al-Ahmadi was arrested in October 2012 and tried alongside 93 academics in the mass trial known as the “UAE 94” case. The group had called for political reforms and an independent judiciary in the UAE via a 2011 online petition. Al-Ahmadi was one of the signatories of the petition.
He was scheduled for release from al-Razeen prison in Abu Dhabi on 13 October 2019, after serving his full seven-year prison sentence.
During his detention at al-Razeen, he has been subjected to ill-treatment and torture, including solitary confinement.
In recent years, the authorities have consistently failed to release political prisoners at the end of their sentences who are instead arbitrarily placed in so-called “counseling centers” under the pretext of terrorism, in accordance with the requirements of Federal Law No. 7 of 2014 on Terrorist Crimes, which allows the authorities to extend the detention of inmates deemed to “pose a terrorist threat” in order to “reform, rehabilitate and guide” them. As there is no formal decision made in these cases, prisoners are denied the right to appeal against the decision.
Human Rights Watch has previously called for the immediate release of five further Emirati prisoners of conscience who completed their sentences between one and three years ago.