94 Emiratis charged with compromising UAE security

ABU DHABI // A group of 94 Emiratis accused of compromising the security of the state have been referred to the Federal Supreme Court for trial.
Prosecutors have completed their investigations into those accused, the Attorney General, Salim Saeed Kubaish, said yesterday.
"They launched, established and ran an organisation seeking to oppose the basic principles of the UAE system of governance and to seize power," Mr Kubaish told Wam, the state news agency.
"The organisation . announced its declared principles as being the teaching and virtues of Islam, but their undeclared aims were, in fact, to seek to seize power and the state's system of governance and to oppose the basic principles of this system."
The 94 are also accused of trying to turn public opinion against the leadership by fabricating reasons for government action taken against them.
They communicated with foreign individuals and organisations abroad to distort the image of the UAE, the Attorney General said.
"They also provided these individuals, entities and establishments with inaccurate information in order to create international public opinion that would put pressure on the Government and the leadership of the state, so as to weaken its status in terms of its foreign relations," Mr Kubaish said.
"They also communicated with the international Muslim Brotherhood organisation and other similar organisations based outside the state, and asked them for help, expertise and financial support to serve their undeclared goal of seizing power."
Prosecutors allege that the organsiation infiltrated societies, schools, universities, ministries and families under the pretence of doing social work to conceal their actions and "divert their loyalty to the organisation and its leadership after preparing a general climate in society to accept this by turning public opinion against all the authorities of the state".
Most of the 94 accused are members of Al Islah, an organisation linked to the Muslim Brotherhood. They have been in the custody of the Public Prosecution in Abu Dhabi since arrests began last summer.
They were charged with violating Article 180 of the Penal Code, which bans the formation of any political organisation or any organisation that compromises the security of the state, and with having connections with foreign bodies to harm the political leadership. Several of the detainees confessed to setting up a secret organisation with an armed wing with the aim of seizing power and establishing an Islamist state in the UAE, a security source said last year.
Mr Kubaish said yesterday the organisation's members had invested funds raised from their subscriptions, alms money, zakat and contributions in commercial and property companies, and bought and sold residential and industrial properties and agriculture land with the aim of hiding funds from the authorities.
Members of the Emirates Human Rights Association visited some of the detainees in prison last year and reported that they had been treated well.
Abdulghafar Hussein, the association's chairman, said three of its members met 10 of the detainees on two occasions. They included Sultan bin Kayed Al Qasimi, the chairman of Al Islah and a member of the Ras Al Khaimah ruling family.
Mr Hussein said claims that the detainees had been tortured were "an utter exaggeration", but that such rumours had spread because of the time taken by the investigation.


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