UAE puts 94 people on trial
Iran Press TV
Tue Mar 5, 2013 3:52PM GMT
The United Arab Emirates has put on trial 94 people arrested on charges of trying to overthrow the government and having political activities connected with Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood.
Court proceedings against the detainees, who are all Emirati nationals, were held in the Emirati capital, Abu Dhabi, on Monday.
There are 12 women among those facing coup plot charges.
Attorney General Salem Saeed Kubaish said in a January statement the detainees "established and ran an organization seeking to oppose the basic principles of the UAE system of governance and to seize power."
Only local media and two family members from each detainee were allowed inside the court.
"The proceedings taken by the court today are not fair," said Asma Al-Siddiq whose husband and father were among the detainees.
"My brother Ibrahim Al-Siddiq was arrested today while in his car ... for having a badge with a picture of the detainees on it," she added.
Human Rights Watch says most of the detainees, who were held at undisclosed locations for up to a year, have been denied access to lawyers until the last two weeks.
The group added that human rights lawyers, judges, teachers and student leaders are among the prisoners.
"Emirati citizens have a lot to fear when their government can detain them without charge for months and then deny them due process in trials that can't be appealed," said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. Another hearing for the detainees was set for March 11.
Political parties and demonstrations are banned in the UAE.
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