On Tuesday the UAE Federal Supreme Court is scheduled to resume the second session of the trial against the “Muslim Brotherhood cell”, including 30 Emirati and Egyptian nationals. The state is accusing the defendants of establishing an international Muslim Brotherhood branch in the UAE without obtaining a proper license. The defendants refuted the charges during the first hearing, claiming their confessions were extracted under torture.
Emirati judicial sources confirmed that the state is trying 30 defendants: ten Emiratis and 20 Egyptians. Six more, who have escaped the country, are being tried with “establishing and managing a secret international organisation in the UAE and collecting funds to support the core organisation in Egypt”.
The defendants denied all charges during the first court hearing on 5 November, and claim that their confessions were extracted under duress, forced disappearances and physical and psychological torture. The Federal Supreme Court said a medical committee will be appointed during the second session to medically examine the defendants for injuries or torture marks.
The Emirates Media and Studies Centre has published documents indicating that the Egyptian detainees had been tortured by the UAE’s security apparatus during the investigation period. Mohammed Al-Mansoori, the Centre’s manager, was convicted in July, along with 69 Emirati Muslim Brotherhood members, on charges of planning to topple government and seize power. The published documents reveal handwritten statements by the Egyptian detainees claiming that they have been subjected to various forms of torture including electrocution, severe beatings with a thick stick and being placed in solitary confinement under extremely cold temperatures for 24 hours.
On 19 June, the State Attorney General Ahmed Rashid Dhanhani announced that the Egyptian detainees had been referred to a Federal Supreme Court which should issue a final judgment not subject to appeal. Dhanhani said “the public prosecutor’s investigations revealed that some of the defendants have founded and managed a branch of the Muslim Brotherhood international organisation without obtaining a license from the state or competent authority. The defendants have formed an administrative structure to operate the branch, achieve its objective and to attract new members and to ensure their loyalty for the head organisation. The defendants supported the branch financially by collecting donations, Zakat and subscriptions without obtaining a license from the state or competent authority. They also received financial support from a ‘secret organisation’ which sought to seize state power,” in reference to the 94 Muslim Brotherhood Emirati members who were tried on charges of “plotting to seize power”. The Federal Supreme Court acquitted 25 of the defendants on 2 July and sentenced the rest to a period between seven and 15 years.
The court pointed out that the 30 detainees “have published confidential documents, photographs and maps they obtained by stealing a state owned flash drive, which also contained confidential information about the secret organisation that aimed to topple the government.”
The Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt has reiterated its statements saying that the organisation “does not export revolution to other states,” and “people are free to choose their rulers.”