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Press briefing note on United Arab Emirates

Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights:  Ravina Shamdasani
Location: Geneva 
Date: 4 January 2019
Subject: United Arab Emirates

In a similar case, the Court of State Security in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Monday upheld a 10-year prison sentence and one-million dirham fine (about USD272,000) against prominent Emirati human rights defender Ahmed Mansoor. Mansoor was initially convicted in May 2018 on charges of using social media to "publish false information that harm national unity and damage the country's reputation". This was in relation to tweets he posted that were critical of the Government.As the Court of State Security is UAE’s highest court, he has no further appeal rights under the UAE’s judicial system.

We are concerned that Mansoor’s conviction and harsh sentencing relate to his exercise of the right to freedom of expression and opinion. We urge the Government of the UAE to promptly and unconditionally release Mansoor and to ensure that individuals are not penalised for expressing views critical of the Government or its allies.

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