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Emirati jailed for Twitter remarks, links to extremists

Tweets deemed harmful to reputation of UAE

Emirati jailed for Twitter remarks, links to extremists

A 25-year-old Emirati man has been sentenced to three years in prison in the UAE and a fine of AED500,000 ($136,000), for statements on Twitter deemed as harmful to the reputation of the UAE, and for belonging to an outlawed organisation, online media reported.

The National reported that the statements concerned the Emirati man's father, who was jailed in 2013 for 10 years for having ties to Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood.

Gulf governments have staged a series of clampdowns on social media activity in the wake of the Arab Spring uprisings. Saudi regulators have called for the monitoring of social media and activists in Kuwait, Oman and Bahrain have been detained for tweeting insulting remarks about public officials.

In July 2013, 61 people accused of affiliation to Islamist organisations were convicted in a UAE court of plotting to overthrow the government. Many of those jailed were reportedly members of the Al Islah group, which the UAE believes has links to the Brotherhood. Al Islah denies any organisational links to the group.

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