UAE rights activist detained for social media criticism

UAE rights activist detained for social media criticism

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — A leading human rights advocate in the United Arab Emirates has been detained and is being investigated for cybercrimes that include criticizing the government on social media sites, according to a government statement published on Tuesday.

The state-run WAM news agency reported that the Public Prosecution for Cybercrimes office had ordered Ahmed Mansoor’s arrest and that he will remain imprisoned pending an investigation into his alleged crimes.

The Dubai-based Gulf News said Mansoor is being accused of defaming the UAE on Twitter and Facebook, publishing false information about the country to damage its reputation abroad and promoting sectarianism. He is also facing charges that he encouraged people through social media to disobey UAE laws.

Mansoor was detained after a raid on his home in the emirate of Ajman in the hours before dawn on Monday.

He received the prestigious Martin Ennals Award last year for bringing attention to arbitrary arrests, concerns of torture and issues around the independence of the judiciary in the UAE. He’s also called for a free press and democratic freedoms in the country ruled by sheikhs.

Rights groups are calling for his release.

Amnesty International said Mansoor was detained after 12 security officials raided his home and confiscated electronic devices. The rights group said officials did not inform his wife where he was being taken.

He was imprisoned in 2011 after being convicted of “insulting officials” and banned from travelling abroad due to his advocacy.

Human Rights First’s Brian Dooely said in a statement that this most recent arrest is “frightening, given what we know about the treatment of those in custody in the Emirates.” He warned that the arrest of Mansoor by authorities in the UAE, which is a close U.S. ally, will provoke international condemnation.

The Associated Press

Just Posted

Kelowna man sentenced to 20 months for having sex with minor

The incidents occurred over a four-month period between February and May of 2018

Well-known Kelowna developer, Al Stober, dies

Al Stober, whose Landmark Centre development spawned new town centre in the city, passes away at 88.

Police investigating sudden death in Lake Country

It’s unclear if the death of a man in his 90s is criminal in nature

Fire erupts in dump truck on McCurdy Road

The driver dumped the load at the corner of McCurdy and Mayfair Road

VIDEO: First all-female spacewalk team makes history

NASA astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir did work on International Space Station’s power grid

Shooters compete in Summerland

Seven youth participants take aim

B.C. public safety minister says cannabis edibles not in stores til January

Mike Farnworth says he wants regional issues considered when it comes to licensing

Greta Thunberg calls for climate action in Alberta, but doesn’t talk oilsands

Swedish teen was met with some oil and gas industry supporters who came in a truck convoy

RDOS cannabis production bylaw goes to public hearing

Hearing on micro cannabis production facilities will be held Nov. 21

VIDEO: Meet your Kelowna-Lake Country candidates

All seven Kelowna-Lake Country candidates answer questions about themselves and their policy

VIDEO: Meet your Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola candidates

Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola candidates answer questions about themselves and their policy

Scheer denies spreading ‘misinformation’ in predicting unannounced Liberal taxes

Conservative leader had claimed that a potential NDP-Liberal coalition could lead to a hike in GST

Council asks to limit cruise ship visits to Victoria harbour

Mayor says motion is not meant to curtail current visits or limit local cruise industry expansion

Most Read