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Asian expatriate sentenced to 10 years in prison in UAE

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A 10-year prison term for an Asian visitor has been issued in the United Arab Emirates for publications on social media sites.

The Abu Dhabi Federal Court of Appeal sentenced a resident of Asian nationality to 10 years in prison on the grounds that he was convicted by the State Security Prosecution of joining the Islamic State and calling for the establishment of a group of websites on social networks to promote the ideology of the organization.

The court ordered the defendant to fined two million dirhams and confiscated all personal computers, mobile phones, laptops, and cameras, and shut down all the websites he created.

The court also ordered the Asian expatriate to pay all judicial expenses and to expel him from the country after the expiration of the sentence.

Both The National and The Gulf News said that the man was a Filipino. They quoted his lawyer saying before the court that the man lacks the technical skills to manage accounts on social media.

The UAE judicial system faces human rights criticism from the United Nations and human rights organizations, which describe such cases as “unfair and politically motivated” trials.

There are severe penalties for expressing opinion, and accusations of activists seeking to join terrorist organizations. While they have not already joined, but charges and conclusions put by the State Security Prosecution, which controls the Court of Appeal Abu Dhabi, according to human rights monitors.

This is evident from the case of the late Alia Abdelnour, who spent ten years in prison and died on the eve of Ramadan in prison following medical negligence in the treatment of cancer. Alia’s real charge is to donate to Syria’s families as a refugee from the Assad regime, but Abu Dhabi and the state security apparatus have brought it to trial for funding “terrorism.”

The ruling showed that the authority in the UAE, according to human rights, is hunting any expression of opinion to bring down the harshest punishments against activists and the general public. Therefore, Abu Dhabi resorted to restricting the media and silencing the mouths and confiscating freedoms. The UAE is a “non-free” country according to Freedom House standards, ranking 120th in freedoms worldwide, according to Reporters Without Borders.

Amnesty International’s annual report on the human rights situation recently exposed serious abuses by the ruling regime in the UAE, including discrimination against women, arbitrary arrests of dissidents and critics as well as horrific war crimes against civilians in Yemen.

The report said that in the UAE, the partner of the coalition that waged war on Yemen for nearly four years, and the partner in the siege of Qatar, women remained under discriminated at the legal level and in practice.

The report highlighted the arrest of the UAE Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, one of the daughters of the ruler of Dubai, in international waters after trying to escape from the UAE aboard a yacht to seek asylum abroad.

The report monitored the arbitrary arrest of foreign nationals by the UAE authorities, including Lebanese. He preferred to arrest hundreds of UAE dissidents, critics of the authorities and human rights defenders, most notably human rights activist Ahmed Mansour.