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UAE sentences Islamists over 'power plot'

United Arab Emirates: More than 65 suspects accused of plotting an Islamist coup in the United Arab Emirates received prison sentences of up to 15 years on Tuesday in a mass trial that underscored the widening crackdowns on perceived Arab Spring-inspired dissent across the entire Gulf Arab region.
Rights groups have accused the UAE of widespread violations including jailhouse abuses against the 94 suspects on trial. The suspects included teachers, lawyers and even the cousin of one of the UAE’s rulers.

Authorities have rejected the claims and have moved ahead with further arrests sweeps targeting suspected groups linked to Islamist networks such as Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood.

 The UAE, which allows no political parties, has not faced any street protests or direct pressures since the Arab Spring uprisings began in the region more than two years 
ago. 

But Western-backed officials have turned their attention to suspected Islamist cells and online activists who have called for a greater public voice in the tightly controlled country.

Prominent rights activist Ahmed Mansoor — who was jailed in some of the first UAE crackdowns after the Arab Spring — said prison terms of 15 years were given to eight suspects tried in absentia.

Ten-year sentences were handed to 60 others, including Sheikh Sultan bin Kayed al-Qasimi, who was head of a group known as al-Islah, or Reform. He is a cousin of the ruler in Ras al-Khaimah, the northernmost of the UAE’s seven emirates.
Agencies

Agencies

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