Human rights defenders and prisoners of conscience Ahmed Mansoor, Mohammed al-Roken, and Nasser bin Ghaith are among 87 Emirati men being prosecuted in a new case on trumped up terrorism-related charges. Their trial, which began on December 7 before the Federal Appeal Court in Abu Dhabi, includes 62 unjustly imprisoned victims of the 2013 mass trial, known as the UAE94, 59 of whom remain arbitrarily detained after serving their sentences.
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I am concerned that 26 prisoners of conscience including Ahmed Mansoor, Nasser bin Ghaith, and Mohammed al-Roken are among 87 Emirati men prosecuted on new trumped-up charges. Their mass trial started on December 7, 2023. Among other defendants are 62 political dissidents unjustly convicted and sentenced to imprisonment in the grossly unfair mass trial known as the UAE94 that concluded in 2013. Fifty-nine of them remain arbitrarily detained after completing their sentences.
According to the Emirates Detainees Advocacy Center (EDAC), a human rights group, the court charged 43 individuals with establishing a “terrorist organization,” while 44 others were charged with supporting and endorsing the organization. This “terrorist organization” is the Justice and Dignity Committee, formed by defendants in the UAE94 case in 2010-2011 to call for the respect of human rights in the UAE. Defendants from the earlier UAE94 mass trial were already convicted and sentenced to prison terms in 2013. This contravenes article 19(1) of the Arab Charter for Human Rights, to which the UAE is party, which states: “No one may be tried twice for the same offense, anyone against whom such proceedings are brought shall have the right to challenge their legality and to demand his release.”
We call upon your Highness to immediately and unconditionally release prisoners of conscience Ahmed Mansoor, Mohammed al-Roken, Nasser bin Ghaith, and all others arbitrarily detained and prosecuted in the ongoing mass trial solely for exercising their rights to freedom of expression and association; and to drop all charges against them stemming from their exercise of their human rights.