Abu Dhabi Federal court jails 61 Al Islah members for attempting to seize power

July 2, 2013 | By More

July 02, Abu Dhabi, AP – A total of 94 dissidents were on trial on charges of forming an organisation with an aim to seize power.

human rights observers Abu Dhabi Federal court jails 61 Al Islah members for attempting to seize power1

In a landmark verdict on Tuesday, the Federal Supreme Court in Abu Dhabi sentenced the main 56 accused in the state security case to ten years in jail, while five others received seven years. Eight accused, who were tried in absentia, received 15 years each.

Twenty-five defendents, including 13 women, were cleared of charges of forming a clandestine organisation and plotting to overthrow the government.

The defendants, who included 13 women, were linked to Al Islah group which has links to the Muslim Brotherhood. According to a statement by the Ministry of Justice, 84 of the 94 defendants (72 male and 12 female) were present in the courtroom as the judge read the respective verdict to each defendant. Ten verdicts were read in absentia for the defendants at large.

The verdicts produced by the four-month long State Security trial cannot be appealed, and those found guilty will begin serving their sentences immediately, including time already served.

The defence lawyers presented their arguments at the hearings which began on March 4.

The detainees, arrested between March and December 2012, had pledged allegiance to the rulers of the United Arab Emirates and urged the president to lift a ban on Al Islah.

They were accused of charges related to the violation of UAE Penal Code Articles 155, 160, 169, 170, 171, 180 and 182. Article 180 relates to the “establishing, instituting, founding, organising, administering or joining an association, corporation, organisation or any branch thereof, with the aim of overthrowing the regime of the State, or publicising it where the use of force is noticeable.”

In its assessment of the trial, the Ministry of Justice, said the court’s transparency, fairness and independence were upheld, with more than 500 observers in attendance at each hearing, including family members of the defendants, representatives of the national media and the Emirates Human Rights Association, a registered NGO.

Human rights advocates in the United Arab Emirates are given all judicial and administrative guarantees to carry out their activities without restrictions within the provisions of law, it said.

It added that the case was investigated, prosecuted and tried before an independent judiciary in full compliance with the applicable procedural, evidentiary and legal standards of the UAE judicial system.

‘‘The UAE judicial system ensures that the rule of law prevails and that no person is above the law. Therefore anyone can resort to the public authorities to report assault, request protection, or claim compensation and ensure that any person committing any offence or felony is punished under law,’’ the ministry said in its statement.

Associated press journalist for human rights observers – Khizer Hayat reports from the region.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Category: Arab uprising

Comments are closed.