Dubai: Social media in the country was highly vocal in its support of the verdict in Tuesday’s security trial. Many were surprised at what they thought were extremely humane judgements for the serious sedition charges.
Citizens and expatriates were all praise for the objectivity and kindness shown by the authorities to those indicted and their families.
Facebook users and tweeters felt that people found guilty of jeopardising the country’s security and stability had received a fair trial, within the accommodations of the law.
Ronilo Florentino Berdonar commented on Facebook: “The leaders of the UAE are very kind and generous…. Emiratis are enjoying their life because of good governance, but evil minds are scattered everywhere.”
Greta Yvonne Duffield agreed. She wrote: “As a Western Muslim living in this beautiful country, I cannot imagine the government being overthrown and in turmoil. May the UAE always be a peaceful place to live!”
Gulf News readers Sufi Mohammad Junooni and Sophy Aqeel were equally strong in their support of a “good decision” and added: “God bless and save the UAE.”
On Twitter, most tweeted updates of the trial and the verdict during the early half of the day, while some found the verdict to be a vindication of the nation’s objectivity over the issue.
Tweet by @uaeyah2h read: “26 acquitted in #UAE94 trial. A slap in the face of whoever doubted the integrity of the #UAE judicial system.”
@Mn608Ra8i wrote: “The whole nation had their eyes on the sedition trial… God bless the UAE.”
This view was reiterated by M-Alahbaabi @M_Alahbabi, who said: “Most countries in the world issue the death penalty for traitors, but the UAE has been merciful with its verdict. This shows the world the fair and forgiving life in the UAE.”
Others praised the country’s judicial system. @Elmalikah tweeted:” The #UAE’s judicial system has reflected at most the integrity and impartiality in handling the #UAE94 trial.”
@Talalalmazrouei said: “Independence and integrity of the judiciary system in the UAE are the main reasons behind the development of the UAE.”
For many, the end of the trial finally signaled closure on the matter, while a few called for reason and restraint in action against the families of those convicted.
@lolabahrain tweeted: “I’m glad the #UAE94 trial is over now and the UAE can move on. Justice has been served.”
@MajedAlraisiy1 added: “The innocent we will take back in, but those convicted, we will not sympathise with them as they are traitors to the country. Traitors are enemies to the country.”
@dbelhoul wrote: “A special request to everybody not to harass or mistreat the families and relatives of those convicted in the trial and respect their privacy.”
Reaction from journalists' association
The UAE Journalists Association (UAEJA) said that the state's approach to handling the case of the secret organisation was based on respect for the rule of law and its firm commitment to constitutional and human rights' principles as well as equality and justice.
The UAEJA, in a statement on Tuesday, said "all state institutions, represented by the independent judiciary, have maintained high standards of consciousness, clarity and transparency since the cell and its members broke the law and were arrested and put to trial."
The statement added that all legal procedures were observed during the case and that the defendants were given the maximum degree of rights, enshrined in law, to defence, witness hearing and pleading during the public hearings.
"At the time we closed this case, which is alien to our society and its values, we pay profound respect and give gratitude to our judiciary and its effective humanitarian role in this case which shocked our feelings.
"We also appreciate the fair verdict and praise the honourable stance of our loyal people against any attempts aimed at tampering with the nation's security, safety and achievements that have been achieved under the vigilant leadership which spared no efforts for the sake of development, welfare and prosperity and the provision of a decent living for citizens and future generations," the statement added.
The statement cautioned the youth of the country against destructive thoughts and trends that are promoted by outlawed malicious groups that disrespect the achievements of the UAE, and are masked by religion or politics.
The statement continued, "Freedom enjoys a space as widely open as the desert and the sea of the UAE, guaranteed by the constitution and the inherited customs at the majlises of our generous rulers."
The statement also called on the youth of the nation to remain vigilant on social networking sites and to continue to play their national role to combat prejudiced campaigns by clandestine organisations and the foreign parties they are linked with.