The government news agency, WAM, has now issued a press release about the arrest of an Emirati first broached by The National two days ago. The man had reportedly spoken at a mosque in favor of the Egyptian protesters and was arrested following his speech. WAM reports:
The UAE citizen Hassan Mohammed Al Hammadi has been detained on the instructions of the General Directorate of Police in Sharjah and his case has been referred to the public prosecutor in the town of Khor Fakkan, an official source at the UAE Ministry of Interior said today.
The source said that Mr. Al Hammadi has been accused of assaulting the Imam of a mosque in Khor Fakkan, of seizing the microphone from him, and of inciting worshippers at the mosque, the statement said. Such behaviour is considered to violate the norms of behaviour and procedures in mosques, the source added.
Mr. Al Hammadi is currently detained in Khor Fakkan Police Headquarters and is being provided with all of his legal rights, including the right to have contacts with his wife, other members of his family and a lawyer, the source said.
Contrary to allegations made on some Internet websites, Mr. Al Hammadi may be visited by his family and his lawyer at any time, the source added.
It’s good the the government confirmed his arrest. The National offered a brief update in today’s newspaper as well.
Given this new information, it would be interesting for the local media to follow up on this case. Did Hammadi really grab the microphone and assault the imam or did he merely voice his opinion about the situation in Egypt? Perhaps an interview with mosque patrons or Hammadi’s family could shed more light on the case.
At the very least, I hope that the local press keeps up with the court case. Would like to know if Hammadi is prosecuted or whether the charges will be dropped. We’ll wait and see…