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Prominent UAE blogger Ahmed Mansoor says that he was beaten by an unidentified man on 17 September. Mansoor was attacked as he was approaching his car at Ajman University of Science and Technology, where he studies law. The attacker knocked Mansoor to the ground and began punching him, but ran away once people entered the parking lot. Once Mansoor was free, he tried to follow him, but was quickly blocked by another unidentified man, who drove off with the attacker. Mansoor says this is the second time that he has been beaten. The United Arab Emirates has been cracking down on political activists and groups, most recently arresting 13 activists tied to Islamist group al-Islah on 16 July. Mansoor was imprisoned and released last year for posting messages critical of political figures in the now-banned UAE Hewar forum. The blogger has been active in speaking out against the crackdown, which has also resulted in the arrest of prominent human rights activist and lawyer, Mohammed al-Roken.
The United Arab Emirates deported an online activist to Thailand yesterday, it has been reported. Ahmed Abdul Khaleq was stripped of his rights to live in the country as a result of his campaigning. His website included appeals for a greater public role in the UAE’s political affairs. Political parties are banned in the Gulf nation. Khaleq was among five other activists who were convicted last year of anti-state crimes for insulting the UAE’s leaders. They were later pardoned, but the charges against them were not officially dropped.
Unable to travel freely or look for work, five political activists still face extreme hardship after being pardoned by the Emirati president. Sara Yasin reports
Index on Censorship joins a coalition of seven rights groups in calling for the convictions of the “UAE 5” activists to be expunged