Fri. Jan 21st, 2022

UAE authorities retaliate against detained human rights defender Ahmed Mansoor last year after regional media published a prison letter in which he described his abuse in custody and unfair trial, Human Rights Watch (HRW) and the Gulf Center for Human Rights (GCHR) said.

An informed source told the groups that after the publication of the letter in July 2021, the UAE authorities moved Mansoor to a smaller and more isolated cell, denied him access to critical medical care and confiscated his reading glasses, HRW written in a statement on Friday.

HRW said that since Mansoor was detained in March 2017, Emirati authorities have mostly detained him in comunicado, isolated him from other prisoners and denied him a bed and mattress.

The human rights watchdogs have called on the UN, as well as the UAE’s allies – the US, the UK and others, to publicly and privately call for an end to Mansoor’s isolation and for his unconditional release. .

“Allies have helped advance the UAE’s story of a tolerant and culturally open country while ignoring rampant abuses, including the legal railroads and horrific abuse of one of its most respected citizens,” said Michael Page, deputy director of the Center -East at Human Rights Watch, said. .

“The UN Human Rights Council must not remain silent while its member, the UAE, flagrantly violates human rights standards and prevents the UN and other international and independent monitors from gaining access to 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. In October, the UAE won membership of the UN Human Rights Council for the third time.

Mansoor was detained at al-Sadr Prison near Abu Dhabi where he is serving a 10-year sentence handed down by the Abu Dhabi Court of Appeal on May 29, 2018, following an “unfair trial on false charges,” HRW said.

In the jail letter published on July 16 by Arabi21, a London-based Arab news website, Mansoor writes that the authorities detained him indefinitely, deprived him of basic necessities and made no meaningful contact with other prisoners or the Outside world.

In January 2021, HRW and GCHR published the details of his abuse in a report titled, The Persecution of Ahmed Mansoor: How the United Arab Emirates Silenced Its Most Famous Human Rights Activist.

“Our courageous colleague Ahmed Mansoor faces a very dangerous target that threatens his life,” said Khalid Ibrahim, GCHR’s executive director.

“In addition to completely isolating him from the outside world and preventing him from gaining access to the necessary medical care, the authorities are systematically working to break him down psychologically. “This requires urgent action by all international mechanisms and governments involved in human rights to save his life,” Ibrahim said.

The organizations said the UAE’s state security agency had violated Mansoor’s rights for more than 10 years with arbitrary arrest and detention, death threats, physical assault, government surveillance and inhuman treatment in custody.

By keeping Mansoor in solitary confinement for almost four years, amounting to torture, the UAE authorities violated their obligations under the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, which the UAE ratified in 2012. HRW written.

Since 2011, HRW and GCHR have documented allegations of ill-treatment, including arbitrary detention, forced disappearance and torture by state security forces against dissidents and activists who have spoken out on human rights issues.

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