Abu Dhabi: The State Security Court of the Federal Supreme Court on Tuesday announced verdicts on 94 Emiratis accused of various charges including establishing a clandestine organisation and seeking to overthrow the UAE Government.
Eighty-four of the 94 defendants—72 males and 12 females—were present in the courtroom as the judge read the respective verdict. Ten verdicts were read in absentia for the defendants at large.
The defendants were accused of charges related to the violation of UAE Penal Code Articles 155, 160, 169, 170, 171, 180 and 182. Article 180 relates to the "establishing, instituting, founding, organising, administering or joining an association, corporation, organisation or any branch thereof, with the aim of overthrowing the regime of the State, or publicising it where the use of force is noticeable."
As per the UAE constitution and law, the Ministry of Justice stated that the court's transparency, fairness and independence were upheld, with more than 500 observers in attendance at each court hearing, including family members of the defendants, representatives of the national media and the Emirates Human Rights Association, a registered NGO. Human rights advocates in the UAE are given all judicial and administrative guarantees to carry out their activities without restrictions within the provisions of law.
The verdicts produced by the four-month long State Security trial cannot be appealed, and those found guilty will begin serving their sentences immediately, including time already served.
The case was investigated, prosecuted and tried before an independent judiciary in full compliance with the applicable procedural, evidentiary and legal standards of the UAE judicial system.
The UAE judicial system ensures that the rule of law prevails and that no person is above the law. Therefore anyone can resort to the public authorities to report assault, request protection, or claim compensation and ensure that any person committing any offence or felony is punished under law.
Article 25 of the UAE Constitution states categorically that: "All persons are equal before the law, without distinction between citizens of the Federation in regard to race, nationality, religious belief and social status."
The right to a fair trial is guaranteed by Article 94 of the UAE Constitution.
As required by UAE law, each defendant has the right to their own legal representation. In cases where a defendant cannot afford a lawyer, the court will provide one.
Articles 1 to 8 of Law No. 3 of 26 May 1993 guarantee the independence of Judges.
Definition of the UAE Penal Code Article 180
Article 180 relates to the acts of "establishing, instituting, founding, organising, administering or joining an association, corporation, organisation or any branch thereof, with the aim of overthrowing the regime of the State, or publicising it where the use of force is noticeable."
It also relates to the acts of "receiving or obtaining funds of any kind from a person or body abroad, whether directly or through an intermediary, if the purpose of this is to publicise any of the things provided for in this Article."
The United Arab Emirates Ministry of Justice remains committed to contributing to the ongoing maintenance of a safe and secure environment and the freedom of movement for all UAE citizens and residents whilst ensuring the full application of the due process of law in the event of suspected threats to national security.