UAE activists get jail term for insulting leaders
Abu Dhabi, November 27, 2011
Five political activists convicted on Sunday of insulting the leaders of the United Arab Emirates were sentenced to between two and three years in jail.
"The court pronounces publicly the following sentence: the accused Ahmed Mansoor will be punished with imprisonment for three years for the charges against him," said a Federal Supreme Court judge.
Mansoor, a communications engineer and poet whose works were published by the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage (ADACH), was the main defendant and accused of running a website that provided a platform for the other defendants to express alleged anti-government views.
"The website included insults that diminished the standing of His Highness the president and His Highness the vice president," the state prosecutor said in October when he presented his case.
The other four -- Nasser bin Ghaith, Fahad Salim Dalk, Hassan Ali al-Khamis and Ahmed Abdul Khaleq -- were sentenced to two years in prison.
The court also ordered the closure of the website. The five, who were arrested in April for urging public protest and disrupting public order, had been on trial since June. - Reuters