UAE’s Year of Tolerance does not include political prisoners
The UAE declares 2019 as the Year of Tolerance, while it continues to detain scores of political prisoners for having the temerity to criticise the authorities.
Nasser Bin Ghaith is an internationally respected economist and commentator who was disappeared for nearly a year, held in solitary confinement in an unknown place, with no access to lawyers or his family before being brought to trial and sentenced to ten years in prison.
He has declared hunger strike for over than two months for the third time in protest against his ill-treatment and difficult detention conditions.
Ahmed Mansoor is a brave and distinguished human rights activist. He was the 2015 recipient of the Martin Ennals Award for human rights defenders for his work in the UAE. In March of last year he was taken and held in an unknown place before being brought to trial and given the same ten-year sentence that was handed down to Bin Ghaith.
He is expected to 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.
The date chosen, Christmas Eve, suggests the UAE authorities are keen to avoid international attention in order to safeguard their reputation abroad.