UAE refutes Human Rights Watch allegations about Emirati activist

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The United Arab Emirate’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MoFAIC) has refuted accusations made by Human Rights Watch regarding the welfare of Emirati citizen Ahmed Mansoor, saying allegations are absolutely false, state news agency WAM reported Thursday.

Mansoor is an Emirati activist who was arrested in April 2011 as one of the ‘UAE Five’ on charges of violating the 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 shortly after.

However, the Emirates were later sentenced to 10 years in prison in 2018 on charges of insulting the UAE and its leaders. He was also convicted of spreading incitement, chaos, sectarianism and hatred via Facebook and Twitter.

The UAE has now moved to refute allegations about the well-being of the Emirates while they are in prison.

In a statement on Thursday, director of the MoFAIC’s Human Rights Division Saeed Rashed al-Hebsi said the allegations published by Human Rights Watch echo allegations emanating from unverified sources.

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

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

He also emphasized that all measures taken by the UAE Judiciary against Mansoor, starting with the investigation and assimilation of the charges against him and ending with the decision of the court, were within the legal framework established by the relevant national legislation is determined.

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