Scores Sent to Jail in UAE Coup Trial

A court in the United Arab Emirates convicted and sent to jail 68 of the 94 defendants accused of hatching a coup plan, said television in Abu Dhabi.

The report on television said the Emirates’ Supreme Court handed the sentences down on Tuesday. Fifty-six of the defendants received jail terms that ranged in length from 3 to 10 years. Eight of the suspects were given in absentia sentences of 15 years, while 26 defendants won acquittals.

Among the defendants sentenced to prison were lawyers, academics and members of UAE’s more prominent families.

Mohammed al-Roken, one of the most prominent lawyers in human rights in the emirate was among the 56 sentenced to 3 to 10 years.

WAM, the news agency for the state, described the defendants as members of a secret organization that was accused of an attempt to overthrow the government in the emirate.

Roads were blocked outside the court by police in Abu Dhabi and reporters were kept away.

Dozens of people of late have been held in a crackdown on those suspected of being members of Islamic political parties. Worries have been heightened amongst officials about a possible spill over of civil unrest taking place in other countries in the Arab world.

The recently completed trial, which groups for human rights said has had flagrant flaws in its procedure, is seen widely as the Gulf State’s attempt to address what it warns as a threat from the Muslim Brotherhood that has been banned.

Leave a Reply

© 2006-2016 Mideast Time.