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Locked up for speaking truth to power

Ahmed Mansoor is a loving father and husband. He’s a poet, blogger, and human rights defender. Right now, he is locked away in a cell in al-Sadr prison, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. He spends his days in an isolation cell, with no access to books, pens or paper. He does not even have a bed.

His crime? Speaking the truth. Before his arrest, Ahmed was one of the few voices within the UAE providing the rest of the world with credible independent information about human rights violations in the country. He regularly raised concerns about the detention, torture and unfair trials of dissenting voices. He spoke about problems with the justice system and of domestic laws that breach international ones.

For this Ahmed is paying a high price. In March 2017, UAE security forces raided his home and arrested him. For over a year, no one, not even his family, knew where he was detained. In May 2018, Ahmed was sentenced to a decade in prison on charges including “insulting the UAE and its symbols”.

Protesting about his prison conditions, Ahmed has twice resorted to hunger strikes, losing dangerous amounts of weight and putting his life at risk. Despite this he is only allowed outside three times a week, when guards remove all other prisoners from the yard and Ahmed spends the little time he has in the sunlight, alone.

Demand the UAE immediately and unconditionally release Ahmed Mansoor.


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