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FI 200/15-7
United Arab Emirates (UAE)
Abgeschlossen am 10. Januar 2019

Human rights defender’s 10-year sentence upheld

AI-Index: MDE 25/9666/2019

On 31 December 2018, prominent human rights defender, Ahmed Mansoor, had his 10-year prison sentence upheld by the State Security Chamber of the Federal Supreme Court in Abu Dhabi. He was convicted on charges that include «insulting the status and prestige of the UAE and its symbols», including its leaders, «publish[ing] false information to damage [the] UAE’s reputation abroad» and «portray[ing] the UAE as a lawless land». Ahmed Mansoor is a prisoner of conscience.

Amnesty International will continue to call for his immediate and unconditional release and for his conviction and sentence to be quashed.

On 31 December 2018, the State Security Chamber of the Federal Supreme Court in the United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) capital Abu Dhabi, issued its final verdict confirming Ahmed Mansoor’s 10-year prison sentence. The court also upheld a fine of 1,000,000 Emirati Dirhams (around USD $270,000). According to the national news agency (WAM) Ahmed Mansoor was convicted of violating the Information Technology Crimes Law and «publishing misleading and inaccurate articles and information that could harm the image and reputation of the country and some of its symbols, as well as its foreign policy». Ahmed Mansoor is held in Abu Dhabi’s Central prison (al-Wathba prison).

On 29 May, the State Security Chamber of the Federal Appeal Court of Abu Dhabi sentenced Ahmed Mansoor to 10 years in prison and a fine. The court also ordered that he be placed under surveillance for three years after his release. He immediately appealed his sentence. Since his arrest on 20 March 2017, Ahmed Mansoor has only received very few and restricted family visits.

Ahmed Mansoor is a blogger, a poet, as well as a prominent human rights defender who received the prestigious Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders in 2015. He is a member of the advisory committee of the NGO Human Rights Watch’s Middle East and North Africa Division, as well as of the advisory board of the organization Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR). He has documented the human rights situation in the UAE since 2006 and has publicly spoken out in defence of international human rights on his blog, via social media and in interviews with international media. Up until his arrest, Ahmed Mansoor was the only independent voice still speaking out through his blog and Twitter account against human rights violations from inside the country. Since then very little reliable information on human rights violations in the UAE has filtered through.

Ahmed Mansoor is a long standing trusted friend of Amnesty International and other human rights organizations. Amnesty International has worked very closely with him over the years relying on his insight and information when the UAE began its choking of its civil society.

The verdict against Ahmed Mansoor is final. Amnesty International will continue to monitor the situation, responding to any developments as appropriate and will explore further means of action.

NO FURTHER ACTION IS REQUESTED. MANY THANKS TO ALL WHO SENT APPEALS.

 

NAME AND PREFERED PRONOUN: Ahmed Mansoor (him/his)

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