New film tackles Muslim Brotherhood’s secret UAE branch

“The Road to July 2nd” was released by the International Gulf Organization (IGO)

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An international human rights group on Thursday released a documentary film in Dubai about the UAE’s secret branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, from its inception to its dismantling and the trial of its members.

“The Road to July 2nd” was released by the Geneva-based human rights group International Gulf Organization (IGO) at a press conference at Dubai’s Grand Hayatt.

The UAE’s Supreme Union Court began on Nov. 5 the trial of 20 Egyptian nationals and 10 Emiratis on charges of forming the Muslim Brotherhood branch.

Twenty four of the defendants attended the trial with their families, legal representatives and the media. The remaining six defendants, all Egyptian nationals, were believed to have fled the UAE.

The Egyptian defendants, including doctors, engineers and university professors, were arrested between November 2012 and January 2013.

The first part of the documentary tackles how the secret group was formed in the UAE and its activities for the past 10 years up until it was broken up by state securities.

The second part provides insight into the trial of the group’s members, relying on their statements, confessions, witness testimonies and charges against them.

“For the past months we were closely following the secret organization’s trial. We are aware of the allegations that have arisen following the trial. It was the first time for such a trial to be held in the UAE and it attracted wide attention from local and international organizations,” said IGO director Mansour Lootah.

Lootah said the documentary is an independent project that sought to reveal “the truth” about the high-profile case without influencing the course of justice.

“We do not act as investigators, judges or lawyers... In the film we highlight all aspects of the case which has raised concerns in the UAE and abroad,” he said.

The production of the documentary relied on documents acquired from members of the organization which included confessions signed by them and video clips.

“All of the records used in the film were part of the evidence included in the case files which we were able to obtain,” said Ali Al Jabri, author and director of the film.

“We wanted to ensure that all concerned parties had absolute freedom to make statements without any restrictions,” Jabri said.

Al Arabiya News Channel will broadcast the documentary film at the end of November and will then be aired by other media outlets in the region.