Free Ahmed Mansoor

At around midnight on 20 March, 12 security officials entered Ahmed Mansoor’s home in the emirate of ‘Ajman, in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). They searched his house, confiscated his phones and other electronic devices, and after three hours of searching the property, took Ahmed Mansoor away.
For two weeks, Ahmed's family had no idea where he was. On 3 April, he was taken from his place of detention to a prosecutor’s office in Abu Dhabi for one short supervised family visit. Since then, he has not been permitted calls with his family. He is being held in solitary confinement and has not had access to a lawyer.
The authorities issued a statement saying he had been arrested for using his social media accounts to “publish false information that damages the country’s reputation” and to “spread hatred and sectarianism”.

The Million Dollar Dissident…

Ahmed Mansoor is a is a renowned human rights defender who, in 2015, was awarded the Martin Ennals Award for Human rights Defenders, sometimes called "the Nobel Prize for human rights", for his outstanding work in advocating for human rights in the UAE and wider Middle East and North Africa region. Until his arrest, Ahmed Mansoor was the only independent voice still speaking out through his blog and Twitter account against human rights violations from inside the UAE. As a result, he has faced years of harassment, intimidation, physical assault, a travel ban, and death threats. The authorities have placed him under physical and electronic surveillance: his computer, phone, email and Twitter accounts have all been hacked.

In 2016, security researchers uncovered that Ahmed was targeted with an elite piece of spyware manufactured by Israeli company, NSO Group. The spyware, had it been successful, would have allowed his attackers to remotely hack his iPhone, giving them full secret access and control of his phone. This incident prompted Apple to issue a security update to the iPhone in August 2016. This was the third time that a commercial spyware suite was used against Ahmed Mansoor and it was by far the most sophisticated and costly attempt to intercept his communications. As a result, Ahmed has become known as “the million dollar dissident”.

Free Ahmed now!

United Nations human rights experts have condemned Ahmed Mansoor’s arrest, which they say is an act of reprisal for his human rights work including engagement with UN mechanisms and for the views he expressed on social media, including on Twitter.

Amnesty International considers Ahmed Mansoor to be a prisoner of conscience, held solely for peacefully exercising his rights to right to freedom of expression, including through his human rights work. Join us in calling on the UAE authorities to release Ahmed Mansoor immediately and unconditionally.

Sign the petition now!

Letter

Your Highness,

I am writing to urge you to release Ahmed Mansoor, a prominent Emirati human rights defender and blogger who has been detained in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) since 20 March 2017.

According to your government, Ahmed Mansoor is accused of using his social media accounts to “publish false information…that damage the country’s reputation” and to “promote [a] sectarian and hate-incited agenda”. He is being detained in solitary confinement with no access to a lawyer and little access to his family.

Ahmed Mansoor is a renowned human rights defender who, in 2015, was awarded the Martin Ennals Award for Human rights Defenders for his outstanding work in advocating for human rights in the UAE and wider Middle East and North Africa region. As a result of his activism, he has been a target of harassment, smear campaigns, death threats, and government surveillance and hacking attempts for a number of years.

United Nations human rights experts have condemned his arrest, which they say is an act of reprisal for his human rights work including engagement with UN mechanisms and for the views he expressed on social media, including on Twitter.

Amnesty International considers Ahmed Mansoor to be a prisoner of conscience, held solely for peacefully exercising his rights to right to freedom of expression, including through his human rights work.

I respectfully urge you to:
  • Release Ahmed Mansoor immediately and unconditionally, as he is being held solely for peacefully exercising his rights to freedom of expression, including through his social media accounts;
  • Ensure that he is protected from torture and other ill-treatment;
  • Ensure that he is granted immediate and regular access to a lawyer of his choosing, his family, and to any medical treatment he may require.

Signatories

Amnesty International
Access
Frontline Defenders
EFF
Security Without Borders
Free Press Unlimited