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Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 22 February 2018

Former university lecturer accused of inciting hatred in UAE

An economist and former lecturer at the Abu Dhabi branch of the Paris-Sorbonne University has appeared before the Federal Supreme Court charges with insulting Egypt and inciting hatred in the UAE.

ABU DHABI // A former lecturer at Abu Dhabi’s branch of the Paris-Sorbonne University has appeared before the Federal Supreme Court charged with insulting Egypt and inciting hatred in the UAE.

The Emirati economist, 47, is accused of engaging in hostility against Egypt by posting six tweets and images ridiculing the Egyptian president and government.

He is accused of inciting hatred through acts that would undermine public order by posting an image of an Emirati praying in a Hindu temple, with remarks ridiculing the UAE’s decision to allot land to build a Hindu temple.

He is also charged with posting information intended to damage the reputation of the UAE by claiming that he was tortured and unjustly accused during a previous trial, and of working with the Ummah political party, banned by the UAE as a terrorist organisation.

Another Emirati is being tried in his absence, charged with creating an online account for the Ummah political party, organising protests outside UAE embassies and diplomatic missions abroad and spreading false information and rumours.

He is also accused of posting false information to damage the UAE’s reputation.

The case was adjourned to May 23.

The former lecturer was arrested in 2011 and convicted of committing 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.

He received a presidential pardon that year.

In that case he was also char-ged with cooperating with members of a secret political organisation whose goal was to undermine the Rulers and bring down the Government by trying to divert public loyalty.

He was one of 94 men and women accused of setting up, organising or administering the group said to be linked to the Muslim Brotherhood. Twenty-five were acquitted, including all 13 women.

nalremeithi@thenational.ae