DUBAI - An Islamist group that has been the target of a crackdown on opposition by authorities in the United Arab Emirates called on Monday for the release of jailed activists and affirmed its devotion to the country's rulers.

At least 20 activists have been detained since July 15, when the Gulf Arab state said it was investigating a foreign-linked group plotting "crimes against state security." Many of those were affiliated with the local Islamist group al-Islah (Reform).

"(Islah) has sought to support (the UAE) since its foundation... then we see that they incorrectly accuse Islah figures of harming state security!?" the group said in a statement on its website.

"We demand the release of the prisoners and a stop to the proceedings and all the security practices and pressures on the sons of the nation."

Please LIKE our Facebook page - it makes us stronger