UAE reacts to report on arrest of Emirati

The ministry said the public prosecution for cybercrimes had ordered the arrest of Ahmed Mansoor on March 20.

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ABU DHABI // The UAE has issued a statement on the circumstances surrounding the arrest of an Emirati man accused of “inciting hatred and defaming the country online”.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation said that the Public Prosecution for Cybercrimes had ordered the arrest of Ahmed Mansoor on March 20.

He was charged with promoting “false and shaded” information over the internet based on an agenda of spreading “hatred and sectarianism”, the state news agency, Wam, reported.

“He has been confronted with the charges and held in custody at the Central Prison in Abu Dhabi,” Wam said.

“He has the freedom to hire a lawyer and his family is allowed to visit him.”

The statement came after the United Nations Special Procedure Group published a press release on Tuesday that said Mr Mansoor was being detained at an unknown location and the charges against him were not specified.

The ministry said these allegations were “totally incorrect” and called on the Special Procedures Group to verify the authenticity of the information from “their official and reliable sources and to refrain from publishing the statements and politicised reports of some [non-governmental organisations]”, reported Wam.