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UAE refutes Human Rights Watch allegations concerning Emirati activist

Published: Updated:

The United Arab Emirate’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MoFAIC) has refuted allegations by Human Rights Watch concerning the welfare of Emirati citizen Ahmed Mansoor, saying that claims are categorically untrue, state news agency WAM reported on Thursday.

Mansoor is an Emirati activist who was arrested as one of the ‘UAE Five’ in April 2011 on charges of breaking United Arab Emirates law of defamation by insulting UAE heads of state.

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He was sentenced to three years in prison at the time but a presidential pardon for him and the other four followed soon after.

However, the Emirati was later sentenced to 10 years in prison in 2018 on charges for insulting the UAE and its leaders. He was also convicted of spreading sedition, chaos, sectarianism and hate through Facebook and Twitter.

The UAE has now moved to refute accusations about the Emirati’s welfare whilst in prison.

In a statement on Thursday, Director of the Human Rights Department at the MoFAIC Saeed Rashed al-Hebsi said the claims published by Human Rights Watch repeat allegations that originated from unverified sources.

Commenting on the report, al-Hebsi said: “The UAE maintains an unwavering commitment to and respect for human rights as put forth by the country’s legislations and continues to cooperate with the United Nations and international partners in this regard.”

Concerning Mansoor’s welfare, al-Hebsi emphasized that while serving his sentence, Mansoor has received the necessary medical care and examinations and is in good health.

He also underlined that all measures taken by the UAE judiciary against Mansoor, beginning from the investigation and leveling of charges against him and concluding with the court’s ruling, came within the legal framework stipulated by relevant national legislation.

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