The #UAE7, members of the Islamist group al Islah, were detained Monday, a week before a scheduled hearing concerning the men’s petition to have their U.A.E. citizenship reinstated. They were stripped of their citizenship quietly in December after being deemed threats to national security. “There has been no court, no trial, not even a single meeting” to explain the reason, said Shaheen al-Hosani, one of the men, in an interview I had with him last month.
They denied they were doing anything to destabilize the U.A.E. and said they were loyal citizens to their country. “We don’t believe in anything that is terrorism,” Dr. Ali al Hammadi, a lecturer and owner of training centers who lives in the emirate Sharjah told me.
“We are a very peaceful people,” he added. “We don’t believe we have to change our government.” He said he and other members didn’t want change as in regime change a la Tunisia and Egypt. “We want reforming, not changing.”
On Monday, a daughter of one of the detained men said her father, Muhammed Abdel Razzaq al Siddiq, was detained by police that day after refusing to sign a declaration to seek a new nationality within two weeks or face imprisonment. “My father called us. … He refused to sign the declaration as now he is stateless, so he was detained along with the other five men,” Alaa al-Siddiq said, according to a Reuters report.
Mohammed al-Roken, a lawyer defending the six, confirmed the men been detained for refusing to seek an alternative citizenship and said they have been transferred to prison, Reuters reported.