PEN International is seriously concerned about the detention of Internet writers Ahmad Mansour and Nasser Bin Gheith, who are facing charges for their dissident activities and writings. Mansour has reportedly faced ill-treatment in prison, and there are serious concerns for his welfare. PEN protests the detention of Ahmad Mansour and Bin Gheith and calls for their immediate and unconditional release in accordance with Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which the UAE is a signatory.  It also seeks assurances that the men are protected from ill-treatment, and given full access to any necessary medical care while detained.

Background Information

According to PEN’s information, well-known blogger and rights activist Ahmad Mansour and Internet writer and economic analyst Nasser Bin Gheith were arrested from their homes on April 8 and 10, 2011, respectively, after signing a petition calling for democratic and economic reforms. They are among five activists to be facing charges of "insulting the head of the state," "stirring sectarian strife," and "destabilization" after they participated in the online pro-democracy forum Emirati Dialogue (Emirati Hiwar). Their trial started on July 18, 2011, and they pleaded not guilty to the charges at a closed hearing in Abu Dhabi. On July 25, 2011, the court adjourned the trial to September 26, 2011.

Mansour is being held at Al-Wathba prison, in the city of Abu Dhabi, where he has reportedly been ill-treated and denied adequate health care by prison administration. He was initially held in solitary confinement and is now being held with convicted criminals, and is said to be at risk of attack.

Prior to his arrest, Mansour had been reportedly harassed and threatened following an online smear campaign against him.

Write A Letter

Protesting the arrest and continued detention of blogger Ahmad Mansour and writer Nasser Bin Gheith, who are being held solely for the peaceful expression of their opinions;
Calling for the immediate and unconditional release of Mansour and Bin Gheith, who are detained in violation of Article 19 the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which the UAE is a signatory;
Calling on the UAE authorities to drop all charges against Mansour and Bin Gheith;
Expressing concerns for Mansour’s and Bin Gheith’s safety and calling on the UAE authorities to investigate the allegations of ill-treatment.

Send Your Letter To

Vice President and Prime Minister
Shaikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al-Maktoum
Co-Chair of the Higher National Security Council
Office of the Prime Minister
POB 2838, Dubai, UAE
Fax: +971 4 3531974
Email through Web
Salutation: Your Highness

Minister of Interior
Lt-General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al-Nahyan
Minister of Interior
Human Rights Directorate
POB: 398, Abu Dhabi, UAE
Fax: +971 4 3981119
Salutation: Your Excellency

Minister of Foreign Affairs
Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahya
POB 1, Abu Dhabi,
United Arab Emirates
Fax: +971 2 4447766
Salutation: Your Excellency

Please copy appeals to the diplomatic representative for the UAE in your country if possible.

Please check with PEN if sending appeals after August 31, 2011: ftw [at]