UAE court gives four death sentence for supporting ISIS

United Arab Emirates on Sunday sentenced four men to death in absentia for joining the militant ISIS group

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A top court in the United Arab Emirates on Sunday sentenced four men to death in absentia for joining the militant ISIS group, local media reported on Sunday.

The Dubai-based Gulf News said the four Emiratis whose ages ranged from 18 to 29, were found guilty for joining ISIS and fighting alongside the militant group’s members in Syria.

The official Emirates News Agency (WAM) said the death sentences were handed out by the Federal Supreme Court, headed by Judge Mohammed Al-Tunaiji, who issued a series of verdicts against six other defendants accused of supporting ISIS or the Iran-backed Houthi militia group in Yemen.

Judge Tunaiji gave three defendants a 10-year jail term each, two others received five-year in prison and one landed a three-year sentence. However, one was found not guilty.

WAM described the defendants as local Emirati nationals and others who hailed from Gulf and Arab countries.

They “were charged with travelling to join the terrorist organization [ISIS] after entering the territory of an Arab country and taking part in various activities of the organization,” WAM said.

The defendants were accused of “promoting the group at a public place, providing funds, managing a website to promote the organization’s ideas, and damaging the state’s reputation and prestige and insulting the state’s symbols,” it added.

Meanwhile, the three defendants – two Yemenis and one Omani - were found guilty for funding the Houthis and “providing them with chemicals, communication equipment, among other supplies,” Gulf News reported.

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

The sentences come after the trial of an Emirati man, claimed to be the local ISIS leader in the Gulf country in late January.

The United Arab Emirates is a member of the U.S.-led coalition that has been bombing ISIS 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 “takfiri groups.”

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