Urgent Action Update: Prisoner of Conscience in Critical Condition (United Arab Emirates: UA 47.19)
February 12, 2020
The physical and psychological conditions of human rights defender and prisoner of conscience Ahmed Mansoor have significantly deteriorated, following three months of him being on continuous hunger strike to protest his detention conditions. He is no longer able to walk unattended. He has been detained in dire conditions and in solitary confinement 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
According to information recently obtained by Amnesty International, the psychological and physical conditions of human rights defender and prisoner of conscience Ahmed Mansoor have deteriorated to the point that he is no longer able to walk unattended. On 7 September 2019, after prison guards beat him, Ahmed Mansoor began a hunger strike to protest his prison conditions. During the first week of his hunger strike, prison guards forced him to eat, but between 14 September 2019 and at least mid-January 2020, Ahmed Mansoor was on continuous hunger strike, ingesting only fluids.
Ahmed has been held in solitary confinement since the beginning of his detention on 20 March 2017. The UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (the Nelson Mandela Rules) prohibits the use of prolonged solitary confinement (for a period of more than 15 days) as punishments that amount to torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.
On 1 January 2020, the official state-run news website, the Emirates News Agency, stated that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation refuted the claims made by non-governmental organizations related to Ahmed Mansoor’s case, namely that his trial and subsequent conviction were unfair, and calling them “baseless”. Amnesty International believes that Ahmed Mansoor’s trial was unfair as he has been convicted and sentenced solely for peacefully exercising his rights to freedom of expression and association, including through his human rights work.
I urge you to quash Ahmed Mansoor’s conviction and release him immediately and unconditionally. 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 or other ill-treatment; and has immediate and regular access to his family and any health care he may require. I also call on the UAE authorities to grant independent international monitors access to Ahmed Mansoor in prison.