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UAE sentences four to death for joining IS

Authorities in the United Arab Emirates have enacted tougher anti-terror legislation [Getty]

Date of publication: 15 February, 2016

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A court in the United Arab Emirates has sentenced four people to death in absentia after finding them guilty of involvement with the Islamic State group.
A top court in the United Arab Emirates sentenced four Emiratis to death on Sunday after convicting them of joining the Islamic State group in Syria.

The four, who were tried in absentia, are part of a group of 11 defendants accused of "joining the terrorist Daesh group in an Arab country", the official WAM news agency said, using an Arabic acronym for IS.

Local newspapers said that the group had travelled to Syria.

They were also charged with "promoting" IS online, helping to finance the group and insulting UAE leaders, WAM said.

Three other Emiratis, a Bahraini, a Mauritanian and a Syrian were handed jail sentences of between three and 10 years, the local Gulf News daily reported. Another Emirati was acquitted.

Abu Dhabi's Federal Supreme Court does not allow international media access to such trials.

The UAE is a member of the US-led coalition that has been bombing IS extremists in Iraq and Syria since September 2014.

UAE authorities have enacted tougher anti-terror legislation, including harsher jail terms and even introducing the death penalty for crimes linked to religious hatred and extremist groups.

In July, the UAE executed an Emirati woman for the extremist-inspired 2014 murder of an American school teacher in an Abu Dhabi shopping mall.

Her husband is accused of seeking to carry out attacks on targets including Abu Dhabi's Formula 1 circuit and has reportedly claimed to be the local leader of IS. He is currently on trial.

In another case, the same court jailed three Arabs for 10 years each after convicting them of ties to the Houthi rebels in Yemen, WAM said on Sunday.

It acquitted three others for lack of evidence against them, it added.

The UAE is also playing a key role in a Saudi-led coalition that has been battling the Houthis and their allies in Yemen since March last year.

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