UAE: State Security Retaliates Against Ahmed Mansoor

UAE: State Security Retaliates Against Ahmed Mansoor

Allies Should Call for Rights Defender’s Immediate Release

(Beirut) – United Arab Emirates authorities retaliated against the detained human rights defender Ahmed Mansoor after July 2021, when regional media published a prison letter he wrote detailing his mistreatment in detention and flagrantly unfair trial, Human Rights Watch and the Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR) said today. 

An informed source told the groups that following the letter’s publication, UAE authorities moved Mansoor to a smaller and more isolated cell, denied him access to critical medical care, and confiscated his reading glasses. Since detaining him in March 2017, UAE authorities have held Mansoor largely incommunicado, isolated him from other prisoners, and denied him a bed and mattress. The United Nations, as well as the UAE’s allies, the United States, United Kingdom, and others, should publicly and privately call for an immediate end to Mansoor’s isolation and for his unconditional release.

“Allies have been helping to promote the UAE’s narrative of a tolerant and culturally open country while ignoring rampant abuses, including the legal railroading and ghastly mistreatment of one of its most respected citizens,” said Michael Page, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “The UN Human Rights Council should not keep silent while its member, the UAE, flagrantly violates human rights standards and blocks UN and other international and independent monitors from accessing its prisons.”

In June 2021, for the first time since 1986, UN member states elected the UAE to serve on the UN Security Council for its 2022-23 term, despite its dire human rights record. In October, the UAE won membership on the UN Human Rights Council for a third time. For years, the UAE has disregarded the Human Rights Council’s mechanisms and experts and no UN special rapporteur has been allowed to visit the country since 2014.

Mansoor has been held in the notorious al-Sadr prison near Abu Dhabi serving a 10-year prison sentence handed down on May 29, 2018, by the State Security Chamber of the Abu Dhabi Court of Appeals following a grossly unfair trial on spurious charges. The prison letter, published on July 16 by Arabi21, a London-based Arabic news site, details the grave violations by the UAE’s state security agency against Mansoor since his arrest and detention.

Photo:, Jon Gambrell

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.