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Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid al-Maktoum
Vice-President and Prime Minister
Prime Minister’s Office
PO Box 212000
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Human rights defender, Ahmed Mansoor, has been on hunger strike for over three weeks in protest at his detention conditions and his unfair trial. On 31 December 2018, the State Security Chamber of the Federal Supreme Court in Abu Dhabi upheld his 10-year prison sentence in relation to his human rights work. He was charged with “insulting the status and prestige of the UAE and its symbols”, including its leaders, “publish[ing] false information to damage [the] UAE’s reputation abroad” and “portray[ing] the UAE as a lawless land.”
According to information received, Ahmed is detained either in Sadr prison or al-Wathba prison, in UAE’s capital Abu Dhabi. He has been held in solitary confinement and in poor conditions since his arrest on 20 March 2017. The UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (the Nelson Mandela Rules) state that solitary confinement in excess of 15 days can amount to torture or other ill-treatment.
I urge you to quash Ahmed Mansoor’s conviction and sentence, and release him immediately and unconditionally, as he is a prisoner of conscience detained solely for peacefully exercising his right to freedom of expression, including through his human rights work. Pending his release, I call on you to ensure that his detention conditions are improved in accordance to international standards, that he is not subjected to torture or other ill-treatment; and has immediate and regular access to his family and any healthcare he may require.