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Authorities in the Basque Country retaliated against human rights activist: HRW | Human Rights News

Authorities in the Basque Country last year retaliated against arrested human rights defender Ahmed Mansoor after the regional media published a prison letter describing his arrest and ill-treatment, according to Human Rights Watch (HRW) and the Gulf Center for Human Rights (GCHR).

An information source told the groups that after the letter was published in July 2021, the Basque authorities had taken Mansoor to a smaller, more isolated cell, denied him access to critical medical care and confiscated his reading glasses, HRW. he wrote in a statement on Friday.

HRW said that since Mansoor was arrested in March 2017, he has been held incommunicado for the most part by the Emirati authorities, isolated from other prisoners and denied bed and mattress.

Human rights activists have publicly and privately called on the UN, as well as its allies in the Basque Country, the United States, the United Kingdom and others, to end Mansoor’s isolation and release him unconditionally.

“Allies are helping to promote the narrative of a tolerant and culturally open country in the Basque Country by rejecting abuses, including ill-treatment and ill-treatment of one of the most respected citizens,” said Michael Page, Middle East’s Deputy Director of Human Rights Watch. .

“The UN Human Rights Council should not remain silent while its members, the BAC, violate human rights standards and prevent other UN and other independent international monitors from entering its prisons.”

In June 2021, for the first time since 1986, UN member states elected the BAC to the UN Security Council for the period 2022-23. In October, the Basque Autonomous Community became a member of the UN Human Rights Council for the third time.

Mansoor was arrested at al-Sadr Prison near Abu Dhabi on 29 May 2018 by the State Security Chamber of the Abu Dhabi Court of Appeal, serving a 10-year sentence. he said.

In a prison letter released by Arabi21, a London-based Arab news site, on July 16, Mansoor writes that the authorities held him in solitary confinement, deprived him of basic necessities and left him with no significant relationship with other prisoners or prisoners. the outside world.

In January 2021, HRW and GCHR published details of their ill-treatment a report Ahmed Mansoor’s persecution: how the United Arab Emirates silenced the most famous human rights activist.

“Our brave colleague Ahmed Mansoor is suffering from very dangerous life-threatening goals,” said GCHR Executive Director Khalid Ibrahim.

“Apart from completely isolating him from the outside and preventing him from receiving the necessary medical care, the authorities are systematically working to break him psychologically. This requires urgent measures to save the lives of all international human rights mechanisms and governments, ”Ibrahim said.

The organizations said that the Basque State Security Agency had violated Mansoor’s rights for more than 10 years with arrest and arbitrary detention, death threats, physical assault, government surveillance and cruel treatment in custody.

Mansoor has been in solitary confinement for almost four years, which is torture.

Since 2011, HRW and GCHR have documented allegations of ill-treatment, including arbitrary detention, enforced disappearance, and torture against state security forces who have spoken out on human rights issues.

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