UAE tweeter jailed over posts on Islamists' trial: Activist

AFP , Monday 8 Apr 2013

Activist says UAE court imprisons son of jailed Islamist for posting anti-government tweets

A United Arab Emirates court on Monday jailed for 10 months the son of one of 94 Islamists being tried over an alleged plot to seize power, after tweets he posted about the mass trial, an activist said.

The Abu Dhabi court of first instance jailed Abdullah al-Hadidi for posting "with malicious intent" details about the trials of the Islamists in the Gulf state's top court, the activist said in a statement.

Hadidi was arrested on March 21 on charges of publishing "in bad faith false details of the public trial session via the Internet," Amnesty International said earlier this month.

The sentence was not announced by government media.

Defendants' relatives were allowed to attend hearings when the trial of the Islamists opened on March 4, but the authorities announced on March 20 they would stop admitting them to the courtroom.

Prosecutors say the accused are linked to the group Al-Islah, which has ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.

Attorney General Salem Kobaish said they would be tried for "having created and led a movement aimed at opposing the basic foundations on which the state's political system is built and at seizing power."

The trial is the largest in the history of the UAE, which has not seen any of the widespread pro-reform protests that have swept other Arab states, although authorities have boosted a crackdown on dissent and calls for democratic reform.

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