Family of Detained UAE Blogger Condemns Smear Campaign
The family of Ahmed Mansoor, a detained blogger in the United Arab Emirates, condemned what they call a smear campaign against him. Mansoor is one of five activists accused of insulting the country’s leaders and endangering national security. The trial of Mansoor and the four other activists before Abu Dhabi’s Federal Supreme Court has focused attention on the UAE’s crackdown on political dissent since the Arab Spring, as the government has called for their execution.
In a statement distributed by Mansoor’s lawyer Mohammed al-Roken, Mansoor’s family noted that a voice message has been circulated inviting people to kill him leading up to his trial. The voice message notes “Anyone who kills him is excused.” “Ahmed Mansoor is innocent and has not been convicted of any crime,’’ the family said in a statement, adding they feared the campaign’s “impact on public opinion and the course of justice.’’ Several human rights campaigns have accused the Emirates of violating international law in prosecuting the bloggers and restricting political activity.