Ten months since the arbitrary detention of human rights defender Ahmed Mansoor
The authorities of the United Arab Emirates are still detaining human rights activist and winner of the Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders in 2015, Mr. Ahmed Mansoor, after the UAE State Security broke into his family home on 20 March 2017 at 3 am in the Emirate of Ajman.
Human rights activist Ahmed Mansoor was arrested on charges of publishing posts on the social networking space in which he defended other human rights activists and that were considered by the Public Prosecution of cybercrimes as “allegedly inciting hatred, promoting sectarian agenda, harming the national unity and social harmony and damaging or mocking the country's reputation and inciting others to transgress the law.”
Mr. Ahmed Mansoor was also subjected to several rights violations including his right not to be in the enforced disappearance and arbitrary detention as well as the denial of family visitation and access to his lawyer. Besides, the UN Special Rapporteurs on Human Rights Defenders, on Promotion and Protection of the Right to Freedom of Expression and Opinion, on Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association, together with the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention and the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances issued a statement on 28 March 2017 confirming the arbitrary nature of the arrest.
It is noteworthy that the Federal Law on Combating Cyber-crimes violates the right to freedom of expression on the Internet as well as the right to privacy. It has been unlawfully used to criminalize bloggers and human rights activists in order to prevent them from disclosing and documenting the violation of human rights made by the UAE authorities and to prevent them from exchanging information. The Federal Law on Combating Cyber-crimes also contains open and vague definitions of crimes in contravention of international human rights standards and the principle of legality as well as the rule of law in addition to the absence of an independent and impartial judiciary and the detainees’ deprivation of all fair trial guarantees.