Amnesty Urges U.A.E. to Release Activist Jailed for Online Posts

(Bloomberg) -- Amnesty International called on the United Arab Emirates to release a human rights activist sentenced to 10 years in prison for criticizing the government on social media.

Ahmed Mansoor was found guilty of publishing false information, insulting the “status and prestige of the U.A.E. and its symbols,” and sentenced to 10 years in prison, Abu Dhabi newspaper The National reported on Wednesday.

Mansoor “was sentenced for expressing his peaceful views on social media and speaking up against human rights violations in the U.A.E.,” Amnesty said in a Twitter post. “Emirati authorities must quash the sentence and immediately release him.”

The pro-democracy activist was convicted of insulting U.A.E. leaders and sentenced to three years in jail in 2011 before receiving a presidential pardon. He was awarded the Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders in 2015, awarded by a jury representing 10 human rights organizations including Amnesty International.

Mansoor’s recent sentence also carries a 1 million dirham ($272,000) fine and orders surveillance for three years after his release. Mansoor can appeal his sentence to the Federal Supreme Court, according to local media.

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