Arrested Emirati human rights defender at risk of torture, rights groups say

Published March 20th, 2017 - 05:00 GMT
Human rights advocate Ahmed Mansoor. (AFP)
Human rights advocate Ahmed Mansoor. (AFP)

Prominent human rights defender Ahmed Mansoor was arrested from his home in Ajman in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in the early hours of 20 March, according to reports from two rights groups.

The Gulf Center for Human Rights reported that he had been arrested after security forces stormed his home and confiscated his belongings.

Amnesty International said that his wife had not been informed of where he was being taken, and that the organization feared he may be at risk of torture in custody.

Lynn Maalouf, Director of research at Amnesty International’s regional office in Beirut, said, “we believe Ahmed Mansoor was detained for the peaceful expression of his conscientiously held beliefs, and we call for his immediate and unconditional release.”

The Gulf Center for Human Rights said that they believed Mansoor’s arrest may have been due to recent calls he made on Twitter for the release of another Emirati human rights defender, or because of a letter he signed to Arab leaders ahead of the Arab Summit in Jordan.

A request for comment to the UAE’s Ministry of Interior from Al Bawaba had not been responded to by time of publication.

Mansoor was selected as the laureate of the Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders in 2015. He has previously been imprisoned in the UAE for reasons relating to his human rights work, according to Amnesty International.  

flaw in Apple’s iOS software was uncovered after an attempt to hack Mansoor’s phone in 2016.

Jacob Burns

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