12/23/2019

Urgent Action: Update: Prisoner of Conscience Held in Dire Conditions (United Arab Emirates: UA 47.19)


On 7 September 2019, human rights defender Ahmed Mansoor went on hunger strike to protest his detention conditions, and prison guards beat him. He remained on strike at least until the end of October, with signs of deteriorating health. His conditions have not improved as he remains in solitary confinement, without a mattress or access to fresh air, since his arrest on 20 March 2017.

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Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan
Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi
Crown Prince Court
King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud Street,
P.O. Box 124
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Fax: +971 2 668 6622
Twitter: @MohamedBinZayed
Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba
Embassy of the United Arab Emirates
3522 International Court NW Suite 400, Washington DC 20008
Phone: 202 243 2400 I Fax: 202 243 2432
Contact form: https://bit.ly/2CrKyHz
Facebook: @UAEEmbassyUS
Twitter: @UAEEmbassyUS
Instagram: @uaeembassyus
Salutation: Your Excellency

Your Excellency,

On 7 September 2019, human rights defender and prisoner of conscience Ahmed Mansoor began a hunger strike to protest his prison conditions, and prison guards beat him. For the first week of his hunger strike, prison guards forced him to eat, but from 14 September and until at least 28 October, Ahmed was on continuous hunger strike, ingesting only fluids. His health has deteriorated both physically and psychologically.

Ahmed continues to be denied a mattress, access to books, and to be permitted to go out in a yard to exercise and be exposed to sun light. Since the beginning or his detention on 20 March 2017, the only improvement to his prison conditions is that running water in the isolation ward was made available in October 2019.

The UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (the Nelson Mandela Rules) state that solitary confinement for more than 15 days can amount to torture and 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 rights to freedom of expression and association, including through his human rights work. Pending his release, I call on you to ensure that he is detained in conditions that comply with international standards, that he is not subjected to torture and other ill-treatment; and has immediate and regular access to his family and any health care he may require.

Yours sincerely,

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