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UAE Jails Man For Belonging To “Secret Organisation”

UAE Jails Man For Belonging To “Secret Organisation”

The 25-year-old Emirati man had disseminated misleading information at home and overseas about a court case involving the secret organisation, WAM said.

A United Arab Emirates court has sentenced a man to three years in jail for harming the country’s reputation and belonging to a secret organisation, state media said on Tuesday, in an apparent reference to a group linked to the Muslim Brotherhood.

The 25-year-old Emirati man, who was also fined Dhs500,000 ($136,000), had disseminated misleading information at home and overseas about a court case involving the secret organisation, WAM said.

The report did not name the group, but the English-language newspaper The National said on its website that the case in part concerned messages the man had posted on his Twitter account about his father, who was sentenced last year to 10 years in jail on charges of belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood.

Amnesty International named the man as Osama al-Najjar, and said the “charade of a trial” showed what it called the authorities’ intolerance of dissent.

The UAE, a U.S. ally and major oil exporter, was unsettled by the rise of Islamists in the aftermath of the uprisings that rocked the Arab world from 2011.

In July 2013, 61 Islamists were convicted by a UAE court of plotting to overthrow the government, activists said. Many of the jailed Islamists were members of the al-Islah group, which the UAE says has links to Egypt’s Brotherhood. Al-Islah denies any organisational links to the group.

“All Osama al-Najjar did was to advocate peacefully for his father Hussain Ali al-Najjar al-Hammadi’s release and raise awareness about his (father’s) shocking ill-treatment in prison,” an Amnesty statement said.

“This should not be a crime, and Amnesty International has named both father and son as prisoners of conscience who must be released immediately and unconditionally.”

UAE authorities have denied mistreating prisoners or conducting unfair trials.

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