UAE Detains Rights Activist, Rights Group Says

April 10, 2011 Updated: April 10, 2011

A human rights activist and blogger was detained in the United Arab Emirates, Human Rights Watch said this weekend, calling on the government to disclose his whereabouts and condition.

Ahmed Mansoor was apparently detained on Friday, HRW reported. He recently called on the government to establish an elected parliament as well as give more freedoms to citizens.

The rights group said “eight to 10 members of UAE security forces” arrested him and searched his Dubai apartment. Laptops, books, and other documents were confiscated. 

In January, HRW honored Mansoor for his efforts to promote human rights in UAE.

“The detention of Ahmed Mansoor is aimed at scaring and intimidating” other UAE rights advocates, stated regional HRW director Sarah Whitson.

Mansoor’s wife was at the apartment when he was taken away. She told HRW that she has not be in communication with him since and does not know where he is being detained.

Before his arrest on Friday, three men who claimed to be police officers came to his house at 3 a.m. and asked him questions about his car. He was arrested later that day.

“The UAE has a lot of explaining to do, not only about why it has detained Mansoor, but why it sent police at 3 a.m. to question him about his car," said Whitson.