British student tortured, jailed in United Arab Emirates


This video from the USA says about itself:

Report: UAE Ruler’s Half Brother in Torture Tape

24 apr. 2009

The United Arab Emirates says a member of its ruling family is the man seen in videotapes torturing another man. The acknowledgement comes at a time when Congress is reviewing a nuclear power deal with the UAE.

From daily the Morning Star in Britain:

Tuesday 3rd june 2014

A TWENTY-YEAR-OLD British student has been jailed for nine years in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) after a “confession” under torture, legal charity Reprieve revealed yesterday.

Ahmad Zeidan, from Berkshire, was arrested by Sharjah police in December 2013 and held incommunicado for several days, during which time he was hooded, beaten, and threatened with rape, according to Reprieve.

Mr Zeidan was also forced to sign documents in Arabic — a language he cannot read — which were subsequently used against him during his trial on jumped-up drugs charges.

A dossier submitted last week to the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture by Reprieve on behalf of 19 prisoners details a pattern of torture in UAE prisons that includes hooding, beatings, threats of rape, and long periods of solitary confinement.

Reprieve investigator Kate Higham said: “This sentence, based on Ahmad’s ‘confession’ under torture, is the result of a shockingly flawed trial process. Sadly, Ahmad’s case is just one of many that point to the systematic use of police torture in the UAE and its acceptance by the authorities.”The UAE must urgently reconsider Ahmad’s case, while the British government must do all it can to push for his release.”

Update 19 June 20114: here.

Abu Dhabi’s sea turtle nesting sites


This video is about hawksbill turtles in the Caribbean.

From Wildlife Extra:

Abu Dhabi’s islands could gain global recognition as important marine turtle nesting sites

April 2014: Abu Dhabi’s Bu Tinah and Zirku Islands could soon become recognised around the world as important marine turtle nesting sites. The country’s Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD) has submitted a proposal to the Indian Ocean and South East Asia (IOSEA) MoU Secretariat to include the two islands in their network.

The critically endangered Hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) and the endangered Green turtle (Chelonia mydas) can be found in Abu Dhabi’s waters and nest on at least 17 offshore islands from mid-March to mid-June. The EAD’s aerial and field survey findings indicate that about 5,750 sea turtles inhabit Abu Dhabi’s waters during the winter season and 6,900 during the summer season.

“Our marine environment is a treasured part of our heritage, our past, our present and our future. Furthermore, marine turtles and their habitats are key indicators of the health of our environment and so this is why, at EAD, we have been closely studying, monitoring and protecting them since 1999,” said Thabit Zahran Al Abdessalaam, EAD’s Senior Advisor on Terrestrial and Marine Biodiversity.

“By having Bu Tinah and Zirku Islands included in the IOSEA Marine Turtle Site Network, this will help ensure their long-term conservation. It will also yield a range of socio-economic benefits for the local community in the Western Region, as conservation also means cleaner coastal waters, protecting the habitat used as nursery grounds for seafood species that support commercial and subsistence fisheries, and the overall protection of mangrove and reef habitat to reduce threats from coastal hazards.”

The two islands will be evaluated by the Secretariat, which is part of the United Nations Environment Programme’s Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, who will take into consideration different factors including their ecological and biological significance, their governance as well as their regional and global representation.

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Torture in United Arab Emirates


This video is called CIA is destroying evidence of their torture tape recordings.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Brother of Dubai police torture victim calls for his release

Tuesday 15th April 2014

Hasnain Ali beaten and threatened with rape after arrest for ‘trumped-up’ drugs charges

The brother of a British man tortured at gunpoint and threatened with rape by Dubai police spoke out for the first time yesterday about the case.

Hasnain Ali, a former bodyguard to members of the Abu Dhabi royal family, will be sentenced today on allegedly trumped-up charges of possessing and selling drugs.

He was on holiday in Dubai in May 2013 when he was arrested, beaten and threatened with Tasers, firearms and rape by police.

Following the ordeal he was made to sign a “confession” in Arabic, which he did not understand, relating to the charges.

This “confession” is being used against him at trial.

“There has been no proper investigation into his torture and we have felt that the authorities have shown more interest in saving face than ensuring that any kind of justice is done,” his brother Jed said.

Legal charity Reprieve is fighting for Hasnain to be acquitted and returned home to Britain to his family.

Breaking news from Reprieve:

A British man arrested and tortured by Dubai police has today been acquitted.

Hasnain Ali (32), from London, was on holiday in Dubai in May 2013 when he was arrested and held for three days without access to a lawyer or his family. While detained he was beaten and threatened with tasers, firearms, and the prospect of sexual assault. Following his torture he was forced to sign a ‘confession’ in Arabic, a language he doesn’t understand, and charged with drugs offences for which he could have been given a death sentence.

See also here.

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Woman saved from jail in Dubai for having been raped


This video is called Free to go: Dubai pardons Norwegian rape case woman.

From the Austrian Times:

30. 01. 14. – 13:00

Sebastian Kurz under pressure to secure release of Austrian woman in Dubai

Sebastian Kurz (OEVP) is facing his first big test as Austria’s new Foreign Minister as the pressure builds to secure the release of an Austrian woman who was arrested in Dubai after reporting her rape to police in Dubai.

The 29-year-old Viennese was arrested by police for having illegal sex in December after she went to them to report that she had been raped in an underground car park by a man from Yemen. The police also told her she could escape the charges if she agreed to marry the man she says attacked her.

Over 100,000 people

250,000 people, according to other sources

have now signed an online petition in support of her release and campaign activists have called on Kurz, the youngest ever Finance Minister, to make it happen.

“Sebastian Kurz must ensure that Dubai will return the young Austrian to her family and her friends,” said Christopher Schott, Campaign Director of global campaigning organisation Avaaz.

Kurz has sent a high level crisis team to Dubai and has done “everything in his power to help the Austrian”, according to the Foreign Ministry.

A similar case last year caused an outcry when a Norwegian woman was sentenced to 16 months in prison after reporting her own rape. She was eventually pardoned and was allowed to return to Norway.

The mass campaign to free this Austrian woman has succeeded; she is back in Austria.

The rapist was a policeman’s son.

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