ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — An activist in the United Arab Emirates says an Abu Dhabi court has handed down prison terms of up to 15 years in a trial of 94 suspects charged with plotting against the country’s ruling system.
At least 26 of the suspects were acquitted on Tuesday. Eight suspects tried in absentia got 15 years each while 10-year sentences were issued for some others.
Activist Ahmed Mansoor says authorities detained at least two family members of the defendants in apparent attempts to limit backlash in the politically charged case.
The trial is part of widening crackdowns by the United Arab Emirates against perceived Arab Spring-inspired dissent. Rights groups claim authorities have abused suspects in custody.
Prosecutors claim the 94 are linked to Islamist networks opposed to the country’s Western-backed ruling system.