UAE authorities hit back at human rights activist: HRW | Human rights news


UAE authorities retaliated against human rights defender Ahmed Mansoor who was detained last year after regional media published a jail letter he wrote describing his abuse in detention and unfair trial, reported stated Human Rights Watch (HRW) and the Gulf Center for Human Rights (GCHR).

A knowledgeable source told the groups that following the publication of the letter in July 2021, UAE authorities transferred Mansoor to a smaller, more isolated cell, denied him access to treatment. medical essentials and confiscated his reading glasses, HRW. written in a press release Friday.

HRW said that since Mansoor’s arrest in March 2017, UAE authorities have held him mostly incommunicado, isolated him from other prisoners and denied him a bed and mattress.

Human rights watchdogs have called on the United Nations, as well as allies of the United Arab Emirates – the United States, the United Kingdom and others, to call publicly and privately for an end to the isolation of Mansoor and his unconditional release.

“Allies have helped promote the UAE’s narrative of a tolerant and culturally open country while ignoring widespread abuses, including legal railroads and the horrific mistreatment of one of its most respected, ”said Michael Page, deputy director of the Middle East at Human Rights Watch. .

“The UN Human Rights Council must not remain silent as its member, the United Arab Emirates, blatantly violates human rights standards and prevents the UN and others international and independent observers to access 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 2022-2023 term. In October, the United Arab Emirates became a member of the United Nations Human Rights Council for the third time.

Mansoor was held in al-Sadr prison near Abu Dhabi, serving a 10-year sentence handed down on May 29, 2018 by the State Security Chamber of the Abu Dhabi Court of Appeal in the ‘resulting from an “unfair trial on false charges,” HRW mentioned.

In the jail letter published on July 16 by Arabi21, a London-based Arab news site, Mansoor writes that the authorities have held him in solitary confinement for an indefinite period, deprived him of his basic necessities. and did not allow him any meaningful contact with other prisoners or the outside world.

In January 2021, HRW and GCHR published details of his ill-treatment in a report titled, The Persecution of Ahmed Mansoor: How the UAE Silenced Its Most Notorious Human Rights Activist.

“Our courageous colleague Ahmed Mansoor faces very dangerous targeting that threatens his life,” said Khalid Ibrahim, Executive Director of GCHR.

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

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

By keeping Mansoor in solitary confinement for almost four years, which amounts to torture, authorities in the United Arab Emirates are violating their obligations under the United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, that the UAE ratified in 2012, HRW wrote.

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


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