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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 11 December 2018

Two groups on UAE terror list set to appeal

The Cabinet approved the list after the introduction of a federal law on combating terrorist crimes, issued by Sheikh Khalifa, the President.

ABU DHABI // Two groups on the UAE terror list say they plan to appeal against the designation.

The UAE in November placed 83 organisations on a terror list that included the Muslim Brotherhood, Al Qaeda and ISIL.

But the Cabinet has announced a protocol it says organisations may use if they wish to appeal against their inclusion.

Islamic Relief UK and the Council on American-Islamic Relations (Cair) were among those who claimed they did not belong on the list.

“We will be getting a copy of the protocol and asking to be removed,” Jenifer Wicks, litigation director for civil rights at Cair, said on Wednesday.

Islamic Relief said it also planned to file an appeal.

“Islamic Relief will be making an appeal to the Government of the UAE against its designation as a terrorist organisation as soon as possible,” a spokesman said.

“We abhor terrorism in all its forms and we categorically refute any allegation of links to terrorism. We hope the appeals process will give Islamic Relief a chance to clear its name.”

The Cabinet approved the list after the introduction of a federal law on combating terrorist crimes, issued by Sheikh Khalifa, the President.

The list was published for transparency and to raise awareness about the organisations.

This week the Cabinet said that the first step in the process is an appeal to the Ministry of Justice, which would then refer the request to the Supreme National Security Council.

The council may then seek more information through the ministry, and would give a decision to the Ministry of Presidential Affairs, which in turn would respond to the Cabinet. The Ministry of Justice would then inform groups of the final decision.

Reports last month said that the two American groups on the list, Cair and the Muslim American Society, had met US government officials about the listing.

Ms Wicks said at the time that Cair had been exploring its legal options and trying to determine the exact procedures for appeal.

After the list’s publication last year, the Muslim American Society had said it was “shocked” to read the news reports about its designation as a terror group.

“The Muslim American Society is a religious community service organisation that serves people in the US,” it said on its website.

“We have no dealings with the UAE and hence are perplexed by this news.”

The group said it wanted an official response from the UAE to check the accuracy of reports of its inclusion on the list.

lcarroll@thenational.ae