The trial of 41 suspects accused of attempting to overthrow the government of the United Arab Emirates will resume at the end of September, Daily Sabah, a Turkish newspaper, reported. The suspects have alleged links with terrorists, official UAE media reported.
Court proceedings Monday were brief and most involved legal details, such as the appointment of attorneys. A judge adjourned the trial to Sept. 28. If the defendants are found guilty, they could face the death penalty.
In early August, the suspects, comprised of both UAE residents and non-UAE residents, were accused of trying to seize power in the country, the BBC reported. They are said to have a takfiri ideology, which refers to Muslims who regard other Muslims who do not follow their extremist ideology as apostates, who can be killed, the Daily Sabah reported. The Islamic State group has followed the takfiri ideology.
While prosecutors said the group was in touch with foreign terrorist organizations, they did not specify which terrorist groups. This is not the first time prosecutors in the UAE have brought charges against people suspected of Islamist ties.
Some 68 Islamists were jailed in 2013 after being accused of trying to overthrow the government, many of whom were sentenced to serve seven to 10 years in prison, the BBC reported. Some civil rights groups criticized the ruling, saying allegations the defendants were tortured were not investigated.
— Aakanksha Tangri (@AakankshaT) August 17, 2015
In January 2014, 20 Egyptians and 10 UAE residents were sentenced by a UAE court to serve as much as five years in prison after being convicted of having ties to the Muslim Brotherhood organization and stealing security information, the BBC reported. Human rights groups also criticized this decision, saying that some defendants were tortured.