Ahmad Mansour family statement
A statement and an appeal
On these distinguished days that combine the celebration of the Eid al-Adha with the seventh anniversary of His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayid Al Nahyan’s assumption to power, may God preserve him, we, the family of Mansour `Ali `Abdullah al-`Abd al-Shehhi, renew our loyalty and allegiance to our country and our wise leadership and reaffirm the vow to sincerely serve the nation. On this occasion, we address the state authorities and public opinion, appealing for intervention to prevent attacks on our son, Ahmad Mansour `Ali `Abdullah al-`Abd al-Shehhi, which have been ongoing since his arrest on April 8, 2011.
Before the court session on Sunday, October 23, 2011, a professionally prepared voice recording was widely circulated via cell phones and the internet, seeking to sow discord, incite to violence, and influence public opinion. It featured poet Sa`id Bakhit al-Kutubi, who urged those who heard the message to demonstrate that day at the Federal Supreme Court. If that were all there were to the message, it would not have been noteworthy. But the poet incited, threatened, and gave license to kill Ahmad Mansour al-Shehhi, one of the detainees, saying explicitly in his poem:
Aid your homeland without doubt or hesitation.
He who impugned it has fallen, he is not victorious/Mansour
You must know it well, I swear by all the Shaikhs.
Draw with it a line and say, That’s it, no further,
And he whose crosses the boundaries is lost.
Strike him with it, and if you kill him you are absolved.
Ahmad Mansour is innocent. He has been convicted of no crime and it has not been established that he spoke or wrote any word insulting His Highness the President, His Highness the Vice-President, or His Highness the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, according to witnesses’ testimonies to the Public Prosecution and the court, among them testimonies by State Security officers. Yet, given such incitement to harm Ahmad Mansour, we asked attorney `Abd al-Hamid al-Kumaiti al-Shamisi to file a complaint with the Public Prosecutor against Sa`id Bakhit al-Kitbi. His words were not merely the expression of an opinion, but rather a death threat and instigation to commit acts that violate the teachings of Islam and the laws of the country. We cannot remain silent or accept this in a nation of law whose pillars were established by His Highness the late Shaikh Zayid Bin Sultan Al Nahyan and are upheld faithfully by His Highness the President, Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayid Al Nahyan, and his brothers, the members of the Federal Supreme Council and rulers of the emirates, may God preserve them all.
Since Ahmad Mansour was arrested in his rented apartment in Dubai on April 8, 2011, in a way that terrorized his wife and four children (Maged, 8; Shihab 6; Yunus, 2, and Badr, who just turned 1 last week), we have chosen not to pursue the matter through the courts. For the past seven months, we chose to disregard the defamation of Ahmad and his family on the internet, in newspapers, on some local television channels, and in mobile phone text messages. Ahmad has faced manifold types of incitement, accusations of treason, threats, charges of disloyalty, and insult and slander of him and his aged parents. He has been described in shocking terms and racist tensions have been stoked by a small, unrepresentative group that has cloaked itself in the mantle of the nation, patriotism, and Their Highnesses the Shaikhs, though the latter are innocent of all connection to this group and their actions. These people have engaged in intimidation, terror, and distortions that are inimical to the true Emirati character and the Arab and Islamic spirit. This group has incited against Ahmad, called him a traitor without a homeland, and advocated the revocation of his citizenship and even his execution, without any basis in law. Some examples of the abuse he has endured include: You bastard, may God curse you; Ahmad Mansour, by God, I won’t even be satisfied with your death; He should be executed, not arrested; Execute and burn him, the dog; Execution is the least punishment for you, you traitor; His blood is legal, that unfaithful Omani; An agent of Iran; A filthy Shia; A naturalized citizen of Palestinian parentage; That pig Mansour; America’s fox; Another naturalized mangy dog; This Zionist agent; A dunce, son a dunce. What we have recently experienced is totally foreign to the ethics and morals of Emirati society and constitutes blatant interference in the judiciary and incitement of public opinion against Ahmad and his detained comrades, the likes of which we have never seen.
Throughout the months of April, May, July, and September, an attorney filed several complaints with the Public Prosecutor and the Public Prosecution in Dubai against specific individuals, including poets, television announcers, government employees, and regular individuals, and websites who have committed illegal acts against Ahmad Mansour, including the crimes of threat, incitement to murder, and libel and slander, all of which are punishable under the Penal Code and the law on the suppression of information technology crimes. But no swift criminal measure has been taken to protect this citizen, though personal freedom is guaranteed by the constitution and the authorities are obligated to protect and deter those who violate the laws. We hope that this time the authority of the law will be upheld, especially since the death threats are clear and explicit. We appeal to the Public Prosecutor to perform his legal duty as mandated by the state authorities and intervene to prevent the attacks endured by Ahmad Mansour since his arrest on April 8, 2011. We hope he gives serious consideration to the complaints already filed with his office and other public prosecution offices.
Ahmad Mansour `Ali al-Shehhi is an Emirati engineer and poet born on October 22, 1969. He holds an MA (1999) in telecommunications engineering from the US, University of Colorado, and a BA (1997) in electrical engineering from the same university. He also has a diploma from the Higher Colleges of Technology. He is a member of the curriculum committee at the University of Sharjah, Engineering Faculty, as well as a member of the curriculum committee at the Engineering Faculty at Sharjah Higher Colleges of Technology. He has produced numerous literary writings, including a collection of poems titled “The Furthest from Nothing,” published by the Pen Project at the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage. He has published many articles in many Emirati papers and is a senior member of the literary magazine Ru’an (1989-1991).
Circumstances of his arrest: on Friday, April 8, 2011, after security personnel had failed to entice him from his apartment at 2 am, claiming that his car had been hit, at exactly 1 pm, his apartment was raided in the presence of his wife and four small children (the eldest age 8 and youngest age 1) by more than 18 security and police personnel. They searched it and its contents in such a way as to intimidate and frighten the family. A few hours later he was taken to the headquarters of the economic crimes suppression unit at the Dubai police, where he was detained until Sunday, April 10, without stated cause and without being shown a warrant for his arrest. At 3 pm on that day, he was sent in a car with blacked-out windows to Abu Dhabi. He was detained in the car until 1:30 am on Monday, April 11, when he was brought before the State Security Prosecution for questioning. During the period of his confinement in the car (from 3 pm Sunday to 1:30 am Monday), he was not allowed to attend to his needs or move. He was taken to the Wathba Prison at 4 am, where he was placed in an isolation cell without electricity, a toilet, or water. He was only removed from isolation on Tuesday, April 19, when he was transferred to a block holding prisoners convicted of various serious crimes. He contracted a skin disease because the prison clothing was not clean and was taken to a doctor only two weeks later. He lost 18 kg during his provisional detention.
Family of Ahmad Mansour `Ali al-`Abd al-Shehhi
November 9, 2011