By Mariam Iskander
“Egypt’s patience has ended and the [United Arab Emirates’] behaviour is disgraceful,” said Freedom and Justice Party Deputy Chairman Essam Al-Erian on Monday during the meeting of the Arab Affairs Committee at the Shura Council.
Al-Erian expressed his dissatisfaction towards the Emirati government during Monday’s Shura Council’s meeting condemning UAE’s behaviour towards the case of 11 Egyptian detainees who were arrested in January for allegedly spying for the Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood.
Foreign Minister Assistant for Consular Affairs Ali Al-Ashiri said that the investigations with the detainees have concluded and the case is now in the hands of the Emirati attorney general. An indictment is expected to be released soon, according to state-owned Al-Ahram.
“We are not allowed to send Egyptian lawyers [to UAE] to defend them,” said Aziza El-Beih, wife detained Salah Al-Mashad. “Emirati lawyers are too expensive, costing 150,000 dirhams per person; plus, we don’t trust having an Emirati defence lawyer.”
El-Beih also complained about the Egyptian government’s handling of the issue, describing their involvement as “unprofessional and inadequate by all measures.”
“The Egyptian ambassador to the UAE only visited them twice since they were arrested, and the first time was two and a half months after the arrest,” added El-Beih.
The 11 detainees were arrested last January for charges leading an Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood plan to topple the ruling regime in the UAE. Although the detainees admitted being members of the Muslim Brotherhood, they denied leading any political activities of that nature.
The case has increased tensions and strained relations between the two countries, which have worsened since January 2011 Revolution in Egypt.