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Concern for well-being of detained blogger

(ANHRI/IFEX) - Cairo, 1 August 2011 - ANHRI is calling on Emirati authorities to stop abusing the prisoner of conscience, blogger and activist Ahmed Mansour.

Mansour is being held at Al-Wathba prison, in the city of Abu Dhabi, where he has reportedly been ill-treated and denied adequate health care by prison administration. Although he is being detained pending trial, he is being held with convicted criminals after being released from solitary confinement.

ANHRI has also learned that a number of prisoners recently tried to provoke a fight with Mansour but their attempts failed due to his mature and calm response.

Mansour and four other activists are facing charges of "insulting the head of the state", "stirring sectarian strife", and "destabilization" after they participated in the online forum "Emirati dialogue (Emirati Hiwar Forum)". It remains unclear, however, on what the charges are based.

"The practices of the prison administration against Ahmed Mansour are disturbing. It is hard to imagine that these are isolated incidents (. . .). It seems clear that Mansour is being targeted when we consider the information blackout in this case and the defamation campaign against him and his fellow prisoners of conscience," ANHRI said.

"The U.A.E. authorities must ensure that the rights of Ahmed Mansour and other activists are safeguarded. They must also take steps to protect them from the harassment they are facing, in order to prove that the state is serious about respecting human rights, especially freedom of opinion and expression," ANHRI added.
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