UAE: Surprise overnight raid leads to arrest of prominent human rights defender

Following the arrest of human rights activist Ahmed Mansoor at 3:15AM local time after a lengthy room-by-room search of his apartment, Lynn Maalouf, Director of Research at Amnesty International’s Beirut regional office, said:
“Amnesty International is appalled and dismayed at this surprise overnight raid resulting in the arrest of Ahmed Mansoor, a courageous and prominent human rights defender in the United Arab Emirates.
“We believe Ahmed Mansoor was detained for the peaceful expression of his conscientiously held beliefs, and we call for his immediate and unconditional release.”
At around midnight, 10 male and two female uniformed security officials stormed the family’s apartment and carried out a lengthy room-by-room search, including of the children’s bedroom. They confiscated electronic devices and took Ahmed Mansoor away at around 3:15AM local time. They did not inform his wife where he was being taken.
Ahmed Mansoor does not have legal representation and, under UAE law, renewal of detention orders is a formality. Amnesty International fears that he may be at risk of torture or other ill-treatment in custody.
In 2015, Ahmed Mansoor was selected as the laureate of Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders.
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