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UAE: 10-year prison sentence upheld for prominent human rights defender Ahmed Mansoor

Responding to today’s decision by the Federal Supreme Court in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to uphold the conviction and 10-year prison term of Ahmed Mansoor, a prominent human rights defender, Lynn Maalouf, Amnesty International’s Middle East Research Director, said:

“Today’s court decision to uphold Ahmed Mansoor’s conviction and 10-year prison sentence confirms there is no space for free expression in the United Arab Emirates.

“Ahmed Mansoor’s only ‘crime’ was to express his peaceful opinions on social media, and it is outrageous that he is being punished with such a heavy prison sentence. This is a final verdict and cannot be appealed. 

“Instead of punishing Ahmed Mansoor for daring to express his opinions, the authorities must ensure his conviction and sentence are quashed and release him immediately and unconditionally.”

In May this year, Ahmed Mansoor was sentenced to 10 years in prison and fined 1,000,000 Emirati Dirham (approximately £210,000) for posts he made on Facebook and Twitter after being convicted of publishing “false information, rumours and lies about the UAE” which would damage the country’s “social harmony and unity”. During his trial, all court proceedings were conducted in almost total secrecy.

Prior to his imprisonment Ahmed Mansoor had been one of the most prominent human rights defenders in the UAE. In 2015 he received the prestigious Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders for his work documenting the human rights situation in the country.

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