Prisoner of conscience Mohamed al-Mansouri finally permitted to see his family
The prominent lawyer and human rights defender Dr Mohamed Al-Mansouri has finally been granted the right to contact his family after spending over a year in solitary confinement at Abu Dhabi’s Al-Razeen prison.
The announcement was made in a recent statement by the International Centre for Justice and Human Rights (ICJHR). He had been denied all contact with his family and the outside world since 2018.
Al-Mansouri, the former head of the UAE Jurists Association, was arrested on 16 July 2012 after signing a petition calling for democratic reforms. He was subsequently tried alongside 93 other lawyers, activists and academics known collectively as the UAE 94. The UN special procedures condemned the trial as grossly unfair. The main evidence used against Al-Mansouri was a “confession” obtained through torture. Consequently, he was sentenced to 11 years and three months for “plotting to overthrow the government”.
By systematically denying Mansouri any contact with the outside world, he has been placed at a high risk of abuse or torture, due to his inability to report any human rights violations. This is a grave concern, considering the extensive accounts of systemic abuse by prison warders, the cruel lack of furniture or facilities within the cells, and the use of physical and psychological torture.
While we welcome the recent development that Dr Mohammed al-Mansouri has finally been permitted to contact his family, we believe this is not enough. Mansouri has committed no crime, and therefore, should be allowed to return to his family for good.
We call on the UAE authorities to release al-Mansouri unconditionally and with immediate effect.
We also call for an end to the practice of arbitrarily denying prisoners of conscience their fundamental visitation rights, as guaranteed by the UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners.
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