RSF Condemns Sudden Arrest of HR Activist Ahmed Mansoor, Urges UAE to Release him along with 2 Others

2017-03-22 - 11:08 م

Bahrain Mirror: Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemned well-known blogger and human rights defender Ahmed Mansoor's sudden arrest two days ago (March 19, 2017) in the United Arab Emirates, as well as the UAE's decision to keep another blogger, Osama Al-Najjar, in prison and the three-year jail term that a UAE court has imposed on Jordanian journalist Tayseer Al-Najjar, urging the Emirati authorities to free them immediately and unconditionally.

Ahmed Mansoor was arrested at his Dubai home late on the night of 19 March and is being held on a charge of posting "false information, rumours and lies" liable to damage the UAE's reputation. Mansoor won the 2015 Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders and he is considered one of the few sources of freely expressed opinion in the UAE.

The blogger Osama Al-Najjar should have been freed on completion of a three-year sentence on 17 March but, according to local media reports, his detention has been extended at the department of public prosecution's request on the grounds that he constitutes a danger to society. He has been detained since 17 March 2014, when he was arrested for tweeting about the mistreatment of his father and all the other defendants in the so-called "UAE 94" case while they were in detention.

Tayseer Al-Najjar was sentenced on 15 March to three years in prison and a fine under a cyber-crime law for allegedly insulting "the state's symbols" in Facebook posts in July 2014 in which he praised the Palestinian resistance in Gaza and criticized various countries including the UAE.

"We urge the Emirati authorities to free all arbitrarily detained journalists and bloggers, without delay," said Alexandra El Khazen, the head of RSF's Middle East desk. "The recent judicial decisions on journalists and Ahmed Mansoor's arrest confirm that the situation is worsening for the UAE's few independent voices, who are being reduced to silence."

Arabic Version    

التعليقات المنشورة لا تعبر بالضرورة عن رأي الموقع

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