Some 704 prisoners are being released from detention ahead of Tuesday’s Eid holiday after the president of the UAE issued a pardon.
UK-based rights group ICFUAE said: “UAE President Sheikh Khalifa pardoned charges and ordered the release of 704 inmates on Monday, in celebration of Eid Al Adha.”
The group added that no political prisoners were amongst those being released.
According to the International Centre for Justice and Human Rights there are currently 68 political prisoners languishing in Emirati jails. Among them is Ahmed Mansour who is serving a ten-year term for his human rights work.
The UAE’s Public Prosecution for Cyber-crimes accused Mansour of using social media websites to “publish false information and rumours”; “promote [a] sectarian and hate-incited agenda”; and “publish false and misleading information that harm national unity and social harmony and damage the country’s reputation”.
Amnesty International has repeatedly called for his release. “The authorities are punishing Ahmed for using social media to exercise his right to free speech. He is a prisoner of conscience, detained and punished simply for exercising his rights,” it said.
-Middle East Monitor