1,000 Days in Prison: How Mohammed Al-Roken Is Sacrificing His Freedom for Human Rights in the UAE

Dr Mohammed al-Roken

By Mansoureh Mills, Amnesty International campaigns on UAE, Iran and Kuwait

Sunday 12 April 2015 marks 1,000 days since Dr Mohammed al-Roken was locked up in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), following a massive crackdown on political and human rights activists. Across the world, Amnesty campaigners are doing all they can to fight for his release.

“You taught me the importance of trying to change things that look unjust,” Christian, Canada.

For the past two weeks, I’ve read and counted around 4,000 beautiful cards and letters for human rights lawyer and law professor Dr Mohammed al-Roken. He was sentenced to 10 years’ prison in the UAE after a deeply unfair mass trial of 94 government critics and activists, and has spent much of the last 1,000 days in a high security prison in the Abu Dhabi desert. SEE THE REST OF THIS POST

The Top 10 Things You Need to Know About Amnesty’s Death Penalty Report

Today, Amnesty International released its annual report on the use of the death penalty worldwide. Although 2013 saw more executions than in previous years and several countries resuming executions, there was also progress towards abolition in all regions of the world. Below, see the top 10 things you need to know from our newest report:


UAE Activist Asks Police for Help, Gets Arrested Instead

Mohamed al-Mansoori United Arab Emirates

Former head of the UAE Jurists’ Association Dr Mohamed al-Mansoori is among those detained © KARIM SAHIB/AFP/Getty Images

Another sign that the Arab Uprising of 2011 is entering a new stage: The number of arrests of activists in the United Arab Emirates is adding up.

After Abu Dhabi’s Public Prosecutor announced on July 15 that a group of people would be investigated for plotting “crimes against state security,” “opposing the UAE constitution and ruling system,” and having ties to “foreign organizations and agendas,” about 35 men have been detained.  That’s eight more since Amnesty International issued an Urgent Action last week.

The whereabouts of all 35 are unknown, and they are thought to be at risk of torture or other ill-treatment.