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    Jo Hopworth on Justice For Natalie – Na…
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    • Criminal Complaint filed against Al Fajer Properties Sheikh Maktoum
      Criminal Complaint filed in Germany against Sheikh Maktoum Hasher Maktoum Juma Al Maktoum CEO of Dubai Developer Al Fajer Properties The Dubai Sheikh who mislead and extort a German Couple  Germany – Dubai 2011 A German elderly couple , today 80 + 50 years old who have been Dubai Tourists since a decade, bought in 2005 an apartment at Nakheel´s Dubai Residen […]
    • UAE: Human Rights Blogger, Sorbonne Lecturer Charged With ‘Humiliating' Officials
      source Human Rights Watch www.hrw.org (Beirut) - The United Arab Emirates attorney general should immediately drop all charges against five pro-democracy activists to halt their trial, Human Rights Watch said today. The charges of "humiliating" top officials relate solely to the defendants' peaceful use of speech to criticize the UAE governmen […]
    • Nakheel Dubai Sunland Case
      June 5, 2011After 21 hearings, Chris O'Donnell, the Australian chief executive of Dubai's major developer, Nakheel, came to the defence of his former colleagues Matthew Joyce and Marcus Lee. Mr Joyce and Mr Lee are accused of profiting from the sale of land that had been earmarked for a colossal high-rise development, which was to include the futur […]
    • Dubai Nakheel CEO decided to leave the company
      Dubai June 7, 2011 Nakheel said on Wednesday that its CEO Chris O'Donnell had left the company "after completing his contract terms". O'Donnell, an Australian who joined the developer in 2006, said he had decided to leave Nakheel following five years spent with the company, the statement added. O'Donnell has overseen a traumatic time […]
    • Owner of Dubai Developer Damac Hussain Sajwani files case against Egypt corruption ruling
      Dubai property developer Damac said on Tuesday it had filed an international arbitration case against Egypt over a land dispute and the conviction of its chairman and owner, Hussain Sajwani.A Cairo court last week sentenced Sajwani in his absence to jail and ordered him to pay a $40.5 million fine in connection with his 2006 purchase of land at Egypt's […]
    • Dubai Palm Jumeriah - Investors plan to take legal action
      Investors in Dubai Palm Jumeirah’s Golden Mile complex will this week serve the developer behind the project with a legal ultimatum to hand over their units or issue them with a refund.Up to ten investors in the luxury complex plan to issue Souq Residences with legal notice in a bid to force a resolution to a dispute that has been ongoing for more than a yea […]
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UAE collect DNA from all Residents – DNA database set to start in a year

Posted by 7starsdubai on October 24, 2009


source The National

The UAE aims to start collecting genetic samples from residents within 12 months as part of its controversial DNA database project, the programme’s director said yesterday, making it the first country in the world to do so.

Dr Ahmed al Marzooqi, the director of the National DNA Database, also said the order for millions of people to allow lab technicians to collect samples of their DNA by swabbing their cheeks would probably be given as a security directive and not require the passage of new legislation.

“The first step is to set up the infrastructure and hire the lab technicians,” he said in an interview with The National.

“This should take us approximately one year.”

Then, he said, the UAE would start collecting DNA samples from the general public, beginning with juveniles.

“The aim is to eventually have a profile of the entire population,” said Dr Marzooqi, who is also the chairman of the DNA Working Group, made up of various police forces across the Emirates.

“Our goal is to sample one million per year, which could take as long as 10 years if you factor in the population growth.”

Some officials have suggested that the DNA programme may require new legislation, which would then need to be considered by the Federal National Council.

But Dr al Marzooqi said this might not be the case.

“We are not sure if this will go through the Federal National Council or not,” he said. “It could simply be decided as a security matter and not need the legislation of the FNC.”

The legislative route seems increasingly remote given that a new government department, the National DNA Database, has already been formed within the Ministry of Interior and collection kits ordered to help the police gather genetic material.

At present, only 5,000 DNA profiles are stored, all of convicted felons.

The notion of collecting DNA samples from non-criminals has raised ethical concerns about privacy protection.

In Britain, for example, such use of DNA was contested last year in the European Court of Human Rights, which ruled that Britain must purge non-criminal genetic material from its database.

The UAE has not accepted the jurisdiction of any such body.

Even attempting such a database – in which DNA is gathered from the entire population, even those who have never gone through the legal system – is basically unheard of, said Sir Alec Jeffreys, the British genetics pioneer who invented the DNA profiling system.

He expressed concern over the lack of legislation required for a national database.

“It will be interesting to see how this develops,” he said.

“How this works out will really set the scene for how other countries approach this problem. If it’s seen as a great success which the population and citizenry fully endorse, I think it will open the way for a lot of other countries going down this route.

“If it turns into a disaster for whatever reason, that will be the end of the story. You are the interesting experiment at this point.”

Dr al Marzooqi, who is also Interpol’s single Middle Eastern representative in its DNA Monitoring Expert Group, said he was aware of the project’s challenges.

“We are certain the pros will outweigh the cons,” he said. “The issue of privacy is just as important for us as it is important for the public. We will implement strict usage rules and will take secondary tests in court cases to verify the identity matches.”

Other nations could use information from the UAE’s data bank, but not access the material, he said. Treaties and other international agreements would dictate the specifics.

“If there is co-operation with the country seeking the DNA profile, we share this information through Interpol – only the DNA profile, and obviously not the sample,” he said.

Because each country may have its own database of DNA profiles, Dr al Marzooqi said, databases would not be merged with those of any other country.

“Not every country who asks will be given this information,” he said.

The database, he added, would be “instrumental in helping with unsolved crimes, identifying unknown bodies and will also be a great help in major disasters, either man-made or natural”.

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