UAE charges 30 Egyptians, Emiratis with forming Muslim Brotherhood 'cell'

MENA and Ahram Online , Wednesday 19 Jun 2013

Authorities in UAE refer 30 Egyptian and Emirati nationals to Supreme Court where they will face charges of attempting to set up unauthorised Muslim Brotherhood 'cell'

Egypt's Freedom and Justice Party leader Essam el-Erian (Photo: AP)

The UAE's state security prosecution on Wednesday announced the referral of 30 Egyptian and Emirati nationals to the country's Supreme Court to face charges of "establishing and administrating" an unauthorised Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood "cell."

In a statement, prosecutors said that alleged cell members had maintained "continuous coordination with and loyalty to their mother organisation in Egypt." The statement also asserted that the alleged cell was secretly expanding and recruiting new members in the UAE.

The statement added that alleged cell members, who were arrested last January, had been collecting money and sending it illegally to the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.

Members of the alleged Brotherhood cell will face charges of gathering sensitive security information about the UAE and Emirati government organisations.

The detained group is allegedly linked to a separate network of around 94 Emirati Islamists, including 13 women, who are currently on trial in the UAE for forming a "secret organisation plotting to overthrow the regime."

Most or all of the 94 defendants are members of the Islamist Al-Islah association, which UAE authorities say is linked to the Muslim Brotherhood.

Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood has yet to issue a statement on the issue.

In Egypt, the Brotherhood's Essam El-Erian on Monday said that the group had "lost patience" with the UAE's detention of Egyptian suspects. Muslim Brotherhood leadership, however, was quick to distance itself from El-Erian's comments, saying they did not represent the group's official position.

In February, President Mohamed Morsi dispatched top Egyptian officials to negotiate the release of Egyptian prisoners detained in the UAE and try to ease tensions between the two countries.

UAE authorities, however, rejected the Egyptian request to release the detainees.

The case of the arrested Egyptians has further strained relations between Cairo and Abu Dhabi, which have deteriorated since Egypt's January 2011 revolution. 

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