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"UAE 5" activist denied entry into Kuwait

(ANHRI/IFEX) - Cairo, 6 February 2012 - The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) condemns the decision by the Kuwaiti airport state security forces to deny entry to Ahmed Mansoor, activist and blogger, on 2 February without providing clear reasons.

Mansoor and human rights lawyer and activist Abdel Hameed AlKameety were travelling together to Kuwait when the former was prevented from entering the country "on the instructions of the Emirati security service," Mansoor told ANHRI. He was also threatened with detention if he was unable to reserve a return ticket to the Emirates. AlKameety, in a show of solidarity, returned with Mansoor to the Emirates even though he was not denied entry into Kuwait.

In November 2011, Mansoor had been released along with other 4 activists as the result of a presidential amnesty on the occasion of the Emirates' National Day. The 5 activists had been sentenced to prison for periods ranging from 2 to 3 years on a charge of "insulting the country's leadership" for signing a petition calling for political reforms.

Despite the amnesty, Mansoor's passport has still not been handed back to him. Nevertheless, this should not have prevented him from being allowed entry into Kuwait, because of an agreement among Gulf states that allows their nationals to move freely within the Gulf region with their national identity cards.

"The ongoing harassment of Mansoor is unacceptable, and the authorities should present a reasonable justification for preventing him from travelling," says ANHRI. "It is not fair to make Mansoor pay the price for expressing himself, first through a trial and once again by limiting his freedom to movement."

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