Abu Dhabi: The trial of a group of Emirati bloggers, facing prison terms on charges of endangering the UAE's security and undermining the public order, started in Abu Dhabi behind closed doors.
The defendants pleaded not guilty to all the charges, said their lawyer, Abdul Hamid Al Kumaiti.
He added the defence also asked the court presided over by Chief Justice Shihab Abdul Rahman Al Hammadi, to stop publishing reports about the trial to ensure no pressure is exercised on the court.
A decision has yet to be issued on whether on not a ban will be imposed on publishing news of the trial and the date of the next hearing.
Meanwhile, scores of Emiratis, holding banners and flags and wearing vests shouted slogans to support the UAE leaders and condemning the bloggers outside the Federal Supreme Court.
Ahmad Mansour Al Shehi, Nasser Ahmad Khalfan Bin Ghaith, Fahd Salem Mohammad Salem Dalk, Hassan Ali Al Khamis, all Emiratis, and Ahmad Abdul Khaleq Ahmad, who does not carry identification papers, are facing trial on accusations of endangering the country's security and undermining the public order.
Emiratis who started gathering outside the court since early in the morning shouted : ‘We are all Khalifa, Khalifa is a red line and condemning Al Shehi and his group as ‘traitors.'