The ruling regime in the UAE continues to ignore repeated international demands that the prisoner of conscience, prominent human rights activist Ahmed Mansoor, should be released.
The most recent international demands on Mansour were issued by members of the US Congress urging the UAE to release the arbitrarily arrested human rights activist, on the grounds of his call for reform and democracy.
Members of Congress demanded that the UAE release Mansour to prove what it was promoting itself, claiming it was a model of tolerance.
Three members of the American Senate and three members of the US House of Representatives confirmed in a letter to Khalifa bin Zayed, that human rights must remain at the forefront of what they described as the “alliance” between Washington and Abu Dhabi.
The signatories of the letter considered that the continued arrest of Ahmed Mansoor insulted the human rights record of the UAE as stated in the letter, “The fact that Mr. Mansour remains a political prisoner undermines the Emirates record in the field of human rights, despite your announcement to celebrate 2019 as the year of tolerance.”
The signatories of the letter addressed the Emirati President, “We urge you to release Mansour and drop all charges against him without delay.”
The signature included Senator Patrick Leahy, Richard Durbin and Sherwood Brown, as well as Congressman Jim McGovern, who co-chaired the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission.
US lawmakers denounced the mistreatment of Emirati security forces of Mansoor, citing many human rights sources and United Nations experts, which the UAE authorities denied.
The signatories of the letter stated that Mansour was “subjected to the same violations that he was active against, including solitary confinement, beatings, lack of contact with the family, and lack of access to water or even bed.”
Last October, 142 human rights organizations wrote to Abu Dhabi demanding that Mansour be released before his fiftieth birthday, but he ended up spending him in prison.
Human rights organizations such as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International considered it a tragedy and a shame for the United Arab Emirates to reach Ahmed Mansoor on October 22 of the “Year of Tolerance” in the 50-year-old Emirates alone in a dungeon in such miserable circumstances, simply because he exercised his right to Freedom of expression and criticism of human rights violations in the Emirates.
In their letter, members of Congress emphasized that the UAE’s human rights record remains a concern as they said: “The United States and the United Arab Emirates share regional interests, but respect for internationally recognized human rights must always be at the forefront of our relationship.”
They stressed that “the release of a free voice defending those rights, like Mansoor, who has endured years of persecution, would be an important step in this regard.”
Mansoor was arrested in March 2017 and convicted in May 2018 of “insulting the status and status of the Emirates and its symbols, including its leaders. Mansoor was sentenced to ten years in prison and a fine of one million dirhams, or about $270,000.
Mansoor is the recipient of the prestigious Martin Ennals Award in 2015, which recognizes the exceptional record of a person or organization fighting human rights violations. The award is named after British activist Martin Ennals, who became Amnesty International’s first president.