UAE court jails three men for involvement in banned groups

November 14, 2016 3:21 PM EST

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DUBAI (Reuters) - A court in the United Arab Emirates on Monday jailed two citizens of the Gulf Arab state to 10 and seven years in jail for membership of a "banned secret organization", state news agency WAM reported.

In a separate case, the court sentenced a man from another Arab state to three years for writing slogans and drawing on walls in support of "a terrorist organization" and writing offensive statements against state officials, it said.

The agency did not identify the men or the organizations, but the UAE has been pursuing a crackdown on Islamists it accuses of trying to destabilize the Western-allied OPEC oil exporter.

In the first case, the Federal Supreme Court in Abu Dhabi convicted one man of holding a senior position in the "banned secret organization" and sentenced him to 10 years. It jailed the second for seven for belonging to the same organization, running one of its UAE offices and promoting its views.

The UAE has banned several Islamist groups, including al-Islah, which is suspected of being linked to the Muslim Brotherhood.

In 2013, the UAE convicted dozens of Islamists, many of them suspected of belonging to Islah, on charges of plotting to overthrow the government, in a hearing criticized by rights groups.

(Reporting by Sami Aboudi; editing by Andrew Roche)



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