In March 2017, the United Arab Emirates' security forces arrested Ahmed Mansoor, the last remaining Emirati human rights defender willing and able to speak out about human rights violations in the country. Unfairly detained, tried and released in 2011, since at least then, the authorities had placed him under physical and electronic surveillance. His computer and email accounts have been hacked and he foiled an attempted hack of his iPhone in 2016, which prompted Apple to issue a security update to the smartphone in August 2016. Since his arrest this March, the lack of clarity regarding his whereabouts and situation is in stark contrast to the projection of modernity that is today's UAE.
Iyad will talk about Ahmed Mansoor's work (the man behind the myth of the "million dollar dissident") and the role that the tech community can play in shining a light on human rights violations in the UAE.