Geneva, June 25, 2019
The International Centre for Justice and Human Rights has learned that human rights activist Ahmed Mansoor is being abused and mistreated by Al Sadr prison authorities. He is currently languishing in solitary confinement in total disregard of the effects that this unfair detention and ill-treatment may have on his psychosocial well-being.
He is also deprived of his most fundamental human rights. He is denied the right to access the money sent by his family to buy what he needs in prison. He is not allowed to exercise, walk in the open air or even have a bed. Inside his cell, Mansoor still sleeps on the floor. These detention conditions and the ill-treatment perpetrated against him constitute a serious breach to the Federal Law No. 43 of 1992 on Regulating Penal Institutions and the Body of Principles for the Protection of All Persons under Any Form of Detention or Imprisonment.
The authorities have neglected his health condition and banned him from receiving family visits, see his lawyer and be examined by a doctor. In March 2019, he had to start a hunger strike to protest against these abuses, including his ill-treatment and the systematic deprivation of his fundamental rights. Ahmed Mansoor might enter another hunger strike given that his harsh detention conditions remained unchanged after his last hunger strike.
The ICJHR noted that the UAE Public Prosecution systematically refuses to fulfill its obligations and responsibilities when it comes to prisoners of conscience and human rights activists including Ahmed Mansoor. The Public Prosecution has ignored the multiple allegations of torture and ill-treatment and has systematically refused to consider the requests calling for an impartial investigation. Furthermore, the Prosecution also refuses to carry out visits to the UAE detention centres and prisons in order to monitor the situation of Ahmed Mansoor and other human rights defenders and hear their grievances.
Ahmed Mansoor was the last human rights activist remaining in the UAE before his arrest on March 20, 2017. He was detained for publishing posts on social media that were found by the Public Prosecution of Cyber-Crimes as “provoking sedition, sectarianism and hatred on social media, threatening the national unity and social peace and damaging the State’s reputation” pursuant to the provisions of the Federal Law No. 5 of 2012 on Cyber-Crimes. The Appeal Chamber of the Federal Court of Abu Dhabi sentenced him on May 29, 2018 to 10 years’ imprisonment, fined him one-million dirhams and ordered to confiscate all his electronic devices and to place him under administrative control for three years.
The ICJHR remains very concerned about the continuous harassment and abuse of human rights activist Ahmed Mansoor, and therefore urges the UAE authorities to:
- Immediately and unconditionally, release human rights activist Ahmed Mansoor and conduct a prompt investigation by an independent body into the allegations of torture and ill-treatment inside the prison.
- Hold accountable those found responsible, bring them to justice and give Ahmed Mansoor the right to proper remedy and rehabilitation.
- Stop violating the rights of human rights activist Ahmed Mansoor and other prisoners of conscience and comply with the provisions of Federal Law No. 43 of 1992 on Regulating Penal Institutions and the Body of Principles for the Protection of All Persons under Any Form of Detention or Imprisonment.
- Allow the UN Special Rapporteur on torture, the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, the UN Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders, the Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture and other International Human Rights Organizations to visit Ahmed Mansoor and other prisoners of conscience, in order to inspect the living conditions in UAE detention facilities to assess the authorities’ compliance to relevant with international standards.