The jailing of a prominent human rights activist in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for posts he made on Facebook and Twitter is a devastating blow to freedom of expression in the country, Amnesty International said today.
Ahmed Mansoor was this week sentenced to 10 years in prison and fined 1,000,000 Emirati Dirham (approximately USD $270,000) for posts he made on social media.
“Ahmed Mansoor is one of the few openly critical voices in the UAE, and his persecution is another nail in the coffin for human rights activism in the country,” said Lynn Maalouf, Amnesty International’s Middle East Research Director.
“The decision to lock up Ahmed Mansoor for the next 10 years for simply sharing his opinion on social media is what causes the real damage to the UAE’s reputation and so-called ‘social harmony’, not Ahmed Mansoor’s peaceful activism.
“Ahmed is a prisoner of conscience who has been targeted, tried and sentenced for using Facebook and Twitter to share his thoughts. He should never have been charged in the first place and now he must be released immediately.”