United Arab Emirates: Ahmed Mansoor on hunger strike again after being beaten in prison
The Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR) is seriously alarmed at reports that Ahmed Mansoor has undertaken a second hunger strike in prison in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), following a severe beating in reprisal for his protests. The authorities must immediately end his ongoing torture and detention.
Mansoor, a member of GCHR’s Advisory Board, started a hunger strike about three weeks ago in early September to protest poor treatment and his ongoing detention, according to a source from the prison. In March 2019, Mansoor began a month-long hunger strike during which time his health deteriorated significantly. Due to the closed conditions in the UAE and the lack of human rights organisations, it is not possible for GCHR to verify whether he remains on hunger strike. He was reported to be in very bad physical and mental shape earlier this month.
It appears that Mansoor was badly beaten as a result of his protests about the poor conditions in which he has been held, and his ongoing detention, which violates international standards. He was beaten badly enough to leave a visible mark on his face, indicating he may have been tortured. He remains in solitary confinement in the isolation ward of Al-Sadr Prison in Abu Dhabi, where he is being held in a small cell with no bed or running water, which he is never allowed to leave. GCHR issued a special report on his medieval prison conditions.
On 07 May 2019, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture and six other UN human rights experts condemned Mansoor’s conditions of detention, noting that “the poor conditions of his detention in the United Arab Emirates, including prolonged solitary confinement, may constitute torture.”
Mansoor, who is also on the Advisory Committee of Human Rights Watch’s Middle East and North Africa Division, is the 2015 winner of the Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders. He is serving a 10-year sentence handed down on 29 May 2018 for the “crime” of speaking out about grave human rights violations in the UAE. For more info, see: https://www.gc4hr.org/news/view/2140.
GCHR and partners worldwide are planning a week of action to help free Mansoor surrounding his 50th birthday on 22 October 2019. More information will be published soon at https://www.facebook.com/FriendsofAhmedMansoor/ and on GCHR’s platforms.
GCHR is concerned that Ahmed Mansoor’s life is at risk and calls on:
- The UN mechanisms to act quickly to help protect and free Ahmed Mansoor;
- The UAE authorities to release Ahmed Mansoor immediately and unconditionally, put a stop to torture and reprisals against him; and allow international observers to visit him in prison and check on his conditions; and
- All supporters to tweet at UAE’s Vice President and Prime Minister @HHShkMohd to #FreeAhmed.