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  • Middle East Unrest Update

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    Jo Hopworth on Justice For Natalie – Na…
    Mariam on Criminal Complaint filed in Ge…
    Martin Kraeter on ACI Dubai Funds filed bankrupt…
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    Dubai Citizen on Al Fajer Properties Case…
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    Benson Fu on Shahram Zadeh against Al Fajer…
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    Ali Varahram on Shahram Zadeh against Al Fajer…
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  • RSS Dubai United Arab Emirates Property Real Estate Debt Fraud Developer Investor Court News

    • 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
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    • Nakheel Dubai Sunland Case
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    • 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
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Detained in Dubai – Support Group for Dubai Residents and Tourists who find themselves in Hot Water in Dubai

Posted by 7starsdubai on November 18, 2009


original source 7Days Dubai 18 Nov, 2009

With hundreds of Brits being arrested each year and hundreds more other expats ending up on the wrong side of the law, a support group has been set up to reach out to residents and tourists who find themselves in hot water in Dubai.

Detained in Dubai is a non-profit organisation set up by Radha Sterling after she fought for the freedom of close friend and TV executive Cat Le-Huy, who was arrested on arrival in the emirate for possession of a jetlag drug that turned out to be legal both in the UK and the United Arab Emirates.

She said: “I ran a campaign for the release of Cat after he was detained last year. He was picked up in the airport in Dubai and arrested for having melatonin – a jetlag pill which is not even illegal in the UAE. He was held in prison for more than a month and eventually released without charge.”

After Le-Huy’s ordeal hit the headlines, Sterling was contacted by other people whose friends and families were going through the Dubai judicial system.

She said: “I decided to set up something more formal as I was contacted by a lot of people after what happened to Cat. I have a legal background and worked closely with Cat’s lawyers during his experience so gained a detailed knowledge of the legal system and I wanted to share that with people who need help.”

Detained in Dubai is manned by a team of solicitors with experience in corporate, criminal and civil law as well a cross-section of researchers and interns. The drive behind the group is to raise awareness of the UAE’s laws to help foreigners avoid getting into trouble in the first place.

But when the worst does happen, Sterling, who works in the media and has a degree in law, is on hand to talk people through the legal process.

Detained in Dubai offers advice and support and recommends lawyers, but mostly, it helps people understand what to expect from an unfamiliar court system.

Sterling said: “A lot of the cases we come across are when a foreigner has got themselves in trouble because they aren’t familiar with the law.

That comes from ignorance really, but we would like to raise awareness of the expectations of Dubai and to make it clear to people that it is not another America or Britain – there are a lot of very serious rules.”

Many of the cases Detained in Dubai has come across in the last eight weeks since its online launch are relating to drugs.

The UAE’s banned and controlled substance list is 49 pages long. Dozens of substances from cough medicine to anti-schizophrenia drugs are included on the inventory.

Even tiny traces of an illegal substance can lead to years in prison.

But it is not only drugs offences.

Sterling says: “We are seeing a lot of financial and business related cases now which are very complex. It can be difficult for people to know where to start.”

Detained in Dubai offers daily support to people, whatever their nationality, and also helps those who come out of the other side adjust to freedom when they are released.

Sterling said: “That’s an important part of what we do as well because people can find it difficult when they do eventually get home so we offer after care support.

“We understand what they have been through.”

For more on Detained in Dubai, go to www.detainedindubai.org, call  +447050 686 745 or email info@detainedindubai.org

Cases helped by Sterling’s group

In trouble with the boss
Dive instructor Roxanne Hillier was jailed for three months in May this year after being convicted of having an affair with her Emirati boss.
The 22-year-old South African, who was working in Sharjah, was arrested when police broke into the dive centre where she had decided to stay overnight while maintenance work was being carried out on her apartment.
She claimed that she was upstairs, in a locked room, when police swooped. Her married boss was downstairs checking dive equipment. She says she was questioned in Arabic and could not understand.
Both Hillier and her boss were charged, although he was later acquitted. Hillier was released on appeal after nine weeks behind bars.

Drug problem
German TV producer Cat Le-Huy was stopped as he arrived at Dubai Airport last year and subjected to a full search.
He was found with melatonin – a supplement used for combating jetlag. He signed a confession in Arabic admitting to possessing illegal drugs, which led to him being locked up in the airport’s detention centre. The authorities also tested some dust and dirt inside his suitcase and found 0.03g of cannabis – smaller than a grain of sugar. Eventually, Le-Huy was released without charge after a meeting between his counsel and the prosecution.

Words of warning
In September 2009, Sun McKay was heading home to Sydney from Afghanistan where he was working for a security firm.
The 32-year-old Australian was queuing for his connecting flight in Dubai when he decided to go to the cash machine. As he stepped out of line, he claims he was grabbed by a man who shouted at him in Arabic. McKay swore in response and was arrested as the man was a police officer.
He has been charged with using insulting language to a police officer and could face three years behind bars. McKay is awaiting a court hearing on December 9.

Ps: Before travel to UAE Tourists should study the Guidelines for Import of Personal Medicines
and check this List of Restricted and Controlled Drugs
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