UAE faced up to tough issues in Brotherhood trial

Experts say these groups act on the margin and security measures taken are similar to those taken by the US after September 11.

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ABU DHABI // The Muslim Brotherhood trial has shown that the UAE should not shy away from confronting tough issues, experts say.

Abdulkhaleq Abdulla, a professor of political science at UAE University, said such groups had infiltrated schools and universities.

But they act on the margins, Prof Abdulla said, and the UAE was hitting back through curriculums and social skills, and the courts were doing their job.

He said the security measures taken by the UAE and other Arabian Gulf states were similar to the measures taken by the United States since September 11.

“The UAE had to deal with tough issues during the years 2012 and 2013 and basically the UAE, like the rest of the GCC states, had in mind the regional instability, volatility and uncertainties around them and they had to take measures during tough times. These cases fall into this exceptional time that the Gulf states, UAE included, are going through,” he said.

“Hopefully, this case gives enough reason to believe the courts are doing their jobs.”

Prof Abdulla said the Government handled the case correctly.

“We have in a way shown that we do not take security for granted and that security and stability are a top priority. Handling these cases might not be to the liking of many people, but the State has handled it,” he said.

“The UAE will remain – it is still the most stable country and it is better than all the countries around it,” he said.

Security alertness, said Prof Abdulla, was ensured in the country.

“These groups are acting on the margin. This case is a legal one and not political,” he said.

“A group of people violated the law and they had to be dealt with. Punishment is in order and that is what has happened.”

Ihab Hamouda, the Egyptian ambassador to the UAE, agreed with Prof Abdulla and said the case was not political and nor would it affect relations between the two countries.

“The case is simply that there is a part of an organisation that has harmed the interests of the country,” he said.

“The case is only regarding the laws that were violated and not about politics.”

He said he had trust in the court’s fair judgment, and “cannot object” to the verdict.

“They [the defendants] were held in accordance with the UAE’s laws. And we trust the judiciary system. We know it has been fair and transparent,” he said.

“Most of their requests were met and they were able to communicate with their families and lawyers,” he said. “We saw no shortcomings and such a case requires similar transparency as we have witnessed,” he said.

The defendants asked to receive case files, which took longer than expected, Mr Hamouda said.

“But they did get them in the end. And the defence lawyers proceeded with their defence testimonies.”