DUBAI //More than 200 lawyers yesterday declared their allegiance to the President, the Vice President and the Rulers of the seven emirates, in a document condemning what they called "false statements recently made by small groups in the foreign media and social networks".
The statement comes after the arrest of five Emirati activists on charges of insulting members of the country's ruling families and posing a threat to state security.
Abdel Hamid al Kumaiti, the lawyer and human-rights activist who represents the detained blogger Ahmed Mansour Ali Abdullah al Abd al Shehi, is one of the signatories.
In a statement, Salim Saeed Kubaish, the Attorney General, said last month that the bloggers are being investigated for "crimes of instigation, breaking laws and perpetrating acts that pose a threat to state security, undermining public order, opposing the government system and insulting the President, the Vice President and the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi".
The men include Mr al Shehi, Nasser Ahmed Khalfan bin Gaith, Fahad Salim Mohammed Salim Dalk, Hassan Ali Khamis and Ahmed Abdul Khaleq.
The lawyers' spokesman, Ali Sultan al Haddad, said their pledge was not directed at the bloggers.
"We are sending this message to everyone inside and outside the UAE and towards any instigators trying to hurt UAE interests. This is not directed at the detained people, as the independent judiciary in the UAE classifies everyone innocent until proven guilty," Mr al Haddad said.
The key part of the announcement, he said, was a call to all law associates to make every effort to ensure the safety, unity and stability of the country and uphold its principles of justice while guarding human rights.
"The lawyers denounce and condemn such acts by those who seek false reputation by initiating political and sectarian disorder. That eventually leads to endangering the country's security and undermining public order," Mr al Haddad said.
The lawyers' statement affirmed their loyalty to the President, Sheikh Khalifa, to Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and their brothers.
The petition said the UAE had a fair and just judiciary system that allowed open access for all. The lawyers strongly condemned and denounced the "false statements" made by what they called "misled and deceived persons".
The lawyers have set up a three-person committee comprising Mr al Haddad, Mansoor Lootah and Abdel Rahman al Mudarreb, which plans to present the statement of allegiance to the President's office.
"We will elect a group of representatives who will present this to the Ministry of Presidential affairs on Wednesday; the petition is still open for signatures until then," Mr al Haddad said. There are more than 600 registered Emirati lawyers.