UAE Issues 11 Life Sentences
The top security court in the United Arab Emirates on Sunday sentenced 38 people to prison in connection to a cell allegedly accused of plotting "terrorist attacks and seeking to overthrow the government to create an Islamic state."
Prosecutors said the "Minaret Youth" cell included Emirati as well as non-Emirati members, though the nationalities and names of all the accused have not been made public.
The group had also been charged with forming committees to recruit young Emiratis and of planning to assassinate top government officials in the UAE, according to UAE government media.
The state-run WAM news agency reported that the Federal Supreme Court's state security chambers sentenced 11 of the defendants to life in prison, though two were tried in absentia. Another two were sentenced to 15 years, 13 were sentenced to 10 years, six to three years, two to five years, and four to six months in prison.
Seven others were acquitted, according to WAM. The official report did not give details on what the defendants had been found guilty of.
The trial, which began late August, was not open to the public or members of the independent press.
In recent years, the UAE has clamped down on even nonviolent Islamist groups, sentencing dozens of opposition figures to prison.