Report: UAE activist sentenced to 10 years for online posts

Leading Emirati rights activist Ahmed Mansoor has been sentenced to 10 years in prison and fined 1 million dirhams, or about $272,000, by an appeals court in Abu Dhabi.

The Dubai-based Gulf News reported on Wednesday that the defendant, identified as "AMS" by his initials, will also be under probation for three years after prison.

Gulf News says Mansoor, who had a court-appointed lawyer, was convicted on Tuesday of defaming the United Arab Emirates on Twitter and Facebook by "publishing false information, rumors and lies ... that would damage the UAE's social harmony and unity."

He was acquitted on charges of cooperating with a "terrorist organization" outside the country.

Human Rights Watch condemned the sentencing, saying it exposes UAE's inability "to tolerate the mildest of criticisms from a genuine reformer."