More than 40 sentenced to life in UAE for 'terror' offences

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A court in the United Arab Emirates has handed life sentences to 43 activists after finding them guilty of terror offences.

State media said the Abu Dhabi Federal Court of Appeal convicted the defendants of "creating a terrorist organisation".

United Nations experts and human rights groups have severely criticised the mass trial.Human Rights Watch (HRW) said more than 80 human rights defenders and political dissidents - known as the "UAE 84" - were put on trial.Last January, the UAE's prosecutor general referred the defendants to the Abu Dhabi Federal Court of Appeal on charges of "establishing another clandestine organisation for the purpose of committing acts of violence and terrorism on UAE soil" known as the "Justice and Dignity Committee".

Its local affiliate, the al-Islah party, is also banned.According to the official WAM news agency, on Wednesday the Abu Dhabi Federal Court of Appeal "sentenced 43 defendants to life imprisonment for the crime of creating, establishing, and managing a terrorist organisation".

Many had already completed their sentences.But UAE authorities said the latest charges were "materially distinct" from those brought in 2013, which did not include accusations of financing a "terrorist organisation", AFP news agency reported.

"Despite being one of the wealthiest countries in the Middle East and promoting high-tech sectors and innovations, the UAE remains restrictive on political activity.The federation of seven emirates, which include Abu Dhabi and Dubai, has no official opposition and bans political parties.In 2013, almost 70 Islamists were given jail sentences over an alleged plot to overthrow the government.

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So they jailed more human rights activists and political activists again.


What, terror offenses might get me sentenced to life in the UAE? That's pretty serious, I don't think I could handle that much heat.

That title could definitely be written better.