Emirati Court Sentences -in Absentia- Brotherhood’s Prominent Leader ‘Essam El-Erian’ to 5 Years in Prison

The UAE Federal Supreme Court, presided over by judge Falah Al Hajeri, has sentenced in absentia Dr. Essam El-Erian, a leading member of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood and the deputy head of Egypt’s Freedom and Justice Party, to five years in jail followed by deportation, reported Gulf News. (El-Erian has been detained in Egypt’s prisons since the 2013 military coup against President Mohamed Morsi, Egypt’s first democratically elected president).

The trial – in absentia – of El-Erian was due to remarks he made in June, 2013 before the ouster of President Morsi by Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi, Egypt’s defense minister at the time. Emarat Al-Youm reported that El-Erian’s remarks – at that time – included allegations that “80% of the money stolen by members of the Mubarak’s regime was deposited in the National Bank of Abu Dhabi”. (Mubarak was Egypt’s president before the January 25 revolution, 2011)

However, Al-Arabiya reported – citing Al-Masry Al-Youm – that El-Erian said – during a meeting of the Shura Council’s Arab Affairs Committee on June 17, 2013 – days before the overthrow of the Brotherhood’s rule in Egypt: “Those who expect that something will happen on June 30, 2013, (referring to the expected coup at the time) are wrong. They (UAE) must understand well that Egypt is their only support, and that their next tsunami will be from Iran and Pakistan, not from Egypt”.

Dr. Mohamed Saad Katatni, the speaker of the Egyptian Parliament and head of the Freedom and Justice Party at the time, had declared that El-Erian’s remarks “do not reflect the view of the party or its official stance.” Katatni’s comments came in a statement on his official page on Facebook, adding that the party repudiates El-Erian’s remarks against the United Arab Emirates, according to Al-Arabiya.

In November 2014, about 16 months after the overthrow of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, the UAE branded Egypt’s most popular political opposition force as a terrorist organisation following a similar decision made by the Egyptian regime after the coup, as well as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Emirati nationals convicted for affiliation to Brotherhood

The UAE State Security Court at the Federal Court has sentenced Abdul Rahman K.B., an Emirati, to 10 years in prison and a three-year probation period after serving his prison time. The Emirati national was accused “of joining the secret outlawed Al Islah group, a branch of Egypt’s Muslim brotherhood”, according to Gulf News.

Hani S.K.A. Sh., a UAE national, was also sentenced to seven years in prison for belonging to Al Islah group. The convict was accused of running one of the outlawed group’s offices in the country and promoting the ideas and ideologies of the Muslim Brotherhood among Emirati youth, reported Gulf News.