UAE: Emiratis from all over the country expressed their support for the verdict issued on Tuesday that convicted 69 out of the 94 Emiratis who were charged with plotting against the government.
Out of those convicted, 56 were sentenced to 10 years in jail, eight of those tried in absentia have been sentenced to 15 years in jail. Five have been handed sentences between three to seven years and 25 have been acquitted.
Gulf News spoke to UAE nationals to learn more about their views regarding the verdict.
Emirati national Fatima Al Beloushi termed the trial a huge step forward and said it reiterated all the ideals that the country and its Rulers stood for. “In 42 years I don’t think any case has received so much coverage and all this is due to the transparency adopted by the UAE legal system. We have shown to the world the level of maturity and fairness with which we deal with such cases. We love our country and will not allow anyone to harm it.”
Ali Mohammad Al Muhairi, a leading equestrian sports personality, said, “The UAE justice system and the Rulers are fair. They know what is right and what is wrong and whoever committed mistakes have to be punished. Our country has and is always fair.”
“Anyone that even marginally touches the honour or the sanctity of the country should be brought to justice. I do agree with the act of punishing such individuals,” said Ahmad Al Mazimi, 24, a doctor.
Emirati student Ahmad Al Zarouni, 21, said that he feels safer after the verdict: “I cannot believe that so many Emiratis would plot against the government when it has given them so much. They deserve to go to jail because this behaviour pollutes the country. I feel safer after the verdict and I think that my country has done a good job in preserving its safety.”
Some of the Emiratis interviewed believed that the Emiratis found guilty should have received stronger punishments to act as an example for others.
“I think the punishment should be stricter like death or exile in order to deter others from plotting against the country and jeopardising its peace. These people break all moral conventions,” said Emirati university student Ahmad Bin Al Shaikh, “I mean it is corrupting and destabilising our society,” he added.
Emirati student Ahmad Al Nuaimi, 23, who studies in Dubai, also agreed stating: “I am with the sentence because I think that it will deter people from forming harmful groups or hurting or trying to impose their ideologies on us. If the verdict succeeds I would not mind a bigger sentence or even stripping them of their citizenship.”
“Those people should be punished. Why should anyone try to change a system that is working very well unless their main reason is to create chaos? We don’t want our country to end up like the countries that were involved in the Arab Spring where people are living in never-ending craziness, so I am happy with the verdict,” said Emirati student Khowla Al Beloushi.