UAE detains 5 activists who oppose government

Authorities in the United Arab Emirates have arrested a prominent human rights activist and four others on accusations that include opposing the government, the state-run WAM news agency reported Monday.

The five were “held in preventative custody” on accusations that they committed crimes that include undermining the public order, opposing the government system and insulting the president, vice president and crown prince of Abu Dhabi, the news agency said.

It identified one of the five as Ahmed Mansour Ali Abdullah Al Abd Al Shehi, more commonly known as Ahmed Mansour. He is a “leading human rights activist who had publicly called for political freedoms and an elected parliament,” Human Rights Watch said. Mansour also is a member of Human Rights Watch’s Middle East advisory committee.

Attorney General Salim Saeed Kubaish said the five “were arrested on order of the public prosecution and questioned in the presence of their lawyers,” the news agency said.

The others who were arrested are Nasser Ahmed Khalfan bin Gaith, Fahad Salim Mohammed Salim Dalk, Hassan Ali Al Khamis — all of the United Arab Emirates — and Ahmed Abdul Khaleq, who “does not carry identification papers,” the news agency reported. CNN