The United Arab Emirates Federal Supreme Court sentenced 30 people on Tuesday to prison terms ranging from three months to five years on charges of being affiliated to the Muslim Brotherhood. The court also ruled to dissolve the organisation, close its offices and confiscate its properties.
Ten of the defendants were Emiratis and 20 were Egyptians. The defendants were accused of establishing a political party in the UAE without obtaining an approval from the state’s competent authorities, of raising funds to support the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and of leaking confidential information about state security.
Amnesty International said the case was “littered with irregularities” and that many of the defendants told the court they had been tortured or ill-treated. The human rights organisation also complained that the trial had been: “marred by a catalogue of human rights violations”, with “arrests made without judicial warrants, allegedly falsified arrest dates being used in court documents and defendants being subjected to months of secret detention and solitary confinement without access to a lawyer.”
The judge insisted that the court arrived to its ruling after listening to the defendants, the defence team and the public prosecutor, as well as upon examining all the relevant evidence. The defendants do not have any right to appeal.
The defence team and 11 of the defendants were not present when the court delivered its verdict.
An Emirati defendant said that his Emirati peers have absolutely no relation with the Egyptian defendants, pointing out that they only met them in the courtroom. He also revealed that since the beginning of the case, the defendants were not allowed to meet with their defence team.