ABU DHABI Nov 12 Seven Islamists detained in
the United Arab Emirates and accused of being members of the
Muslim Brotherhood and threatening the security of the state
lost an appeal on Monday against the revocation of their
The UAE, a major oil exporter and business hub, has
weathered the popular uprisings that toppled four Arab leaders
last year, thanks in part to its cradle-to-grave welfare system,
but it has shown little tolerance towards dissent.
The seven are among more than 60 members of the Islamist
grouping al-Islah detained this year and accused of belonging to
the Muslim Brotherhood, which is banned in the UAE.
All the detainees have been charged with founding an
organisation that violates state security, having links to
foreign organisations and insulting the political leadership.
Al-Islah says it advocates peaceful reform and has no
connections with the global Muslim Brotherhood, which was
founded in Egypt and has now risen to power there.
Some of the seven had demanded greater powers for the
Federal National Council, a partly elected body that advises the
government on policy and lawmaking. Each of the UAE's seven
emirates has its own ruling family and no political parties are
The Federal Appeals Court in Abu Dhabi on Monday upheld a
lower court ruling that the withdrawal of citizenship had been
an executive action and not subject to administrative court
jurisdiction, the state news agency reported.
The lawyer representing the group told Reuters they had not
yet decided whether to pursue the case further.
"We will go through today's judgment and then decide whether
or not we will go to the Supreme Court to challenge the
verdict," Abdulhamid al-Kumeiti said.
A win at the higher court would allow the men to appeal once
The lawyer who first filed the appeal, Mohammed al-Roken, is
one of the Islamists now in detention.
Kumeiti said he had not gained access to the seven men, nor
had their families been able to see them.
Relatives said the men had been arrested after refusing to
acknowledge their loss of citizenship by applying for residency
visas in the UAE or seeking new nationalities.
In rare political comments, Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed
al-Maktoum, a powerful member of Dubai's ruling family, denied
on Monday that the Arab Spring was having any impact on the UAE.
"The UAE is safe from political instability in the region.
We are immune," Sheikh Ahmed told Reuters.
"We're not concerned at all. Why should we be?"