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United Arab Emirates

United Arab Emirates: Bloggers and activists pardoned and freed

The president of the United Arab Emirates expunged the guilty verdict against blogger Ahmed Mansoor and four other activists, according to Human Rights Watch.

On Nov. 27, the United Arab Emirates’ Federal Supreme Court sentenced Mansoor to three years in prison for insulting the country’s leaders. The other four pro-democratic activists; Lecturer Nasser bin Ghaith; and activists Farhad Salem Hassan, Ali Al-Khamis and Ahmed Abdul Khaleq were also accused of insulting the leadership and received a two-year prison sentence, according to Reporters Without Borders.

The blogger and the four activists were arrested on April 8 for posting messages against the government’s policies from July to October last year. The five refused to accept a trial which they said was “unfair and politically motivated”, according to Reporters Without Borders. They went on their protest in terms of hunger strike since Nov. 13.

“This is excellent news for Ahmed Mansoor and the four activists who will finally be released after eight months in prison,” Reporters Without Borders said in the article. “The perseverance of their families and all those who supported them in their campaign deserves our praise.”

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