AOHR UK launches a campaign to end to the arbitrary detention of Emirati human rights defenders Ahmed Mansoor, who is suffering inhuman detention conditions which violates the international standards for the treatment of prisoners.
Ahmed Mansoor, the best-known human-rights defender in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), remains imprisoned after almost four years of deplorable treatment by the Emirati authorities.
AOHR UK demands that the UAE authorities uphold Mansoor’s basic rights as a prisoner, including removing him from solitary confinement, providing him with proper protection against the cold (including bedding), and adequate medical treatment.
Mansoor, now 51, was arrested in May 2017. He was not allowed a lawyer for over a year, though was sentenced in May 2018, following a closed trial, to 10 years imprisonment for insulting the “status and prestige of the UAE and its symbols”.
In late 2018 the UAE’s highest court upheld the sentence. Mansoor is a father of four, and an engineer by profession.
The Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners were adopted by the United Nations in 1955. They are the basic, universal guidelines for the proper treatment of prisoners. They are known today as the “Mandela Rules”.
AOHR UK views the treatment Mansoor has received on the part of Emirati authorities as falling far short – and deliberately so – of those minimally acceptable conditions.
His mistreatment had been globally recognised as such since at least May 2019. At the time, UN experts said, “Mr. Mansoor has been kept in solitary confinement, and in conditions of detention that violate basic international human rights standards and which risk taking an irrevocable toll on Mr Mansoor’s health”.
The same experts were “alarmed at repeated and consistent reports that Mr. Mansoor has not received a fair trial and call on the authorities to ensure his retrial in accordance with the fundamental judicial guarantees provided for in international human rights law, or his immediate release”.
The Mandela Rules stipulate that “solitary confinement shall be used only in exceptional cases as a last resort, for as short a time as possible and subject to independent review, and only pursuant to the authorization by a competent authority.”
Mansoor has been held in isolation since his arrest.
Therefore, AOHR UK calls on the Emirati authorities to treat Mansoor in accordance with the “Mandela Rules” and other international norms, that the UAE’s international allies call for the same, and that Mansoor be granted a retrial given the plainly unjust circumstances of his sentencing.
AOHR UK also call on all activists, journalists, bloggers, media outlets, human rights defenders to write about Ahmed Mansoor and call the international community and the UN bodies to pressure the UAE authorities to release him immediately.