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Can football resolve the feud between Qatar, the UAE and Saudi Arabia?

The ongoing dispute between Gulf neighbours Qatar, the UAE and Saudi Arabia (with a variety of other countries allied to one side or the other), has become increasingly disruptive and dangerous; even victimising disinterested foreign visitors to the Gulf as the rivals ramp up pressure tactics against each other. Just last month a British national was attacked and subsequently jailed in the UAE for wearing a team jersey for the Qatar national football team while attending a match of the Asian Cup. Earlier, Matthew Hedges, another Briton, was accused by the UAE of being a spy, ostensibly because of his perceived Qatari connections, while doing research in the Emirates for his PhD. The conflict

Army friends rally support for Andy Neal as Dubai prosecutors claim decision on release will come Th

Army colleagues of Brit father of 2 wrongly imprisoned in Dubai rally to his support. A 44 year old British family man, war hero and PTSD sufferer is trapped in jail in the UAE on charges of being a drugs kingpin, despite the prosecutors admitting there is no evidence against him. Police searches of his house, phone and bank accounts turned up nothing, and even a blood test showed him to be clean of any kind of drug residue. The case was based solely on the forced confession of a witness, which was later retracted with the witness saying that he had “never mentioned Andy”. Radha Stirling, founder of Detained in Dubai who represents Andy confirms that prosecutors have advised Andy that a deci

Brit war hero and father of 2 jailed since October after shameful Dubai police misconduct

Detained in Dubai has taken on the case of Andy Neal, detained in Dubai central prison since the 4th of October. Detained in Dubai is in touch with Andy's family and is appointed as representative and spokesperson. Englishman Andy Neal, 44, has been wrongfully detained in Dubai since the 4th of October 2018 after police seized him from his home one evening. Prosecutors have since realised Andy is innocent but continue to hold him in Dubai’s central prison as the lead prosecutor seeks promotion. Nottingham born Andy Neal, served in the British army for 24 years. He has served as a corporal in the Worcester foresters from 1991 until 2009 and then transferred to the Royal Army Veterinary Corpo

Dubai’s primitive justice system leaves fitness instructor jailed in “medievally cruel” prison witho

When Artur Ligęska went to the Federal Court in Abu Dhabi on January 28th ,2019, after 9 months in detention, he felt hopeful. He had been accused of possessing and consuming methamphetamines, something he had never done in his life. Drug tests showed no trace of the substance in his system, and no drugs were found in his possession. At his last court appearance, his defence attorney had argued that there was absolutely no proof for the charges against Artur, and the police report confirmed the complete absence of physical evidence. It had been a long, traumatic experience, but Artur felt confident that it would finally be coming to an end. “But five seconds after proceedings began,” Artur s

Following Rahaf’s escape from Saudi, Hind Al-Bolooki appoints Radha Stirling to help her escape the

Radha Stirling, CEO of Detained in Dubai and UAE country expert witness, spoke with Hind Al-Bolooki from detention in Macedonia, pledging to help her secure freedom from abuse and provide expert testimony for her asylum application. Ms Stirling issued the following statement: Today I had a conference call with Hind Al-Bolooki and some of her friends and supporters. Hind could barely speak above a whisper, and I could sense the desperation in her voice. She wanted to know whether Canada or whomever would send her back to the UAE. She is utterly terrified of that possibility. Hind has photographic evidence of the physical abuse she suffered at the hands of her husband, and the outrageous set

Foreign Investors in Ras Al Khaimah & UAE face jail, Interpol, corruption & business theft

Last month, Dubai Ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum viewed a number of infrastructure projects for the emirate worth Dh6.5 billion; Dubai also recently announced plans to expand the DIFC complex; Dubai Expo 2020 is set for October this year, representing potentially hundreds of billions of dollars in contracts; and it seems that investment projects in the UAE are in a continuous state of acceleration. Potential investors are encouraged, seduced even, by headlines like these; and that is the intention. Radha Stirling, founder and CEO of Detained in Dubai, reads such stories, however, as ‘too good to be true’ enticements that have led far too many businesspeople into personal and fin

Emirati woman’s asylum plea must be taken as seriously as Rahaf Mohammed

An Emirati woman who fled the UAE has been denied asylum in Macedonia and faces extradition, though she claims she has suffered serious human rights violations by her family, and will likely be severely punished for her escape. Radha Stirling, CEO of Detained in Dubai, issued the following statement: “Hind Al-Bolooki’s case should not be taken any less seriously than the case of Rahaf Mohammed last month. The patriarchal system, and informal male guardianship rules she is fleeing are just as pronounced in the UAE as they are in Saudi Arabia. There is a misconception that the Emirates is a more liberal, Westernised society; the UAE has worked very hard to manufacture that image, but the reali

Now Hakeem is free, legal action against Interpol is a must

We congratulate Hakeem Alaraibi upon his release from Thai custody, and the rejection of Bahrain’s request for extradition; and we salute Thailand for making the reasonable and humane decision to protect a political refugee from being returned to the persecution he fled years ago. There was never any doubt that Hakeem’s life would be in danger had he been sent back to Bahrain, and Interpol should have never allowed that country to request a Red Notice against him. The trauma Hakeem has suffered, the weeks of uncertainty about his fate, the prolonged and needless detention; to say nothing of the frantic activism from concerned supporters all around the world; all highlight the urgent need for

Conditions in UAE detention for jailed Brit revealed Stirling: ‘Abuse is commonplace’ in Sharjah fac

Bare, windowless rooms with a heavy iron-barred door; men packed side-by-side on the floor sometimes with not even enough room to turn over. Other rooms are so over-crowded that detainees sleep in a seated position. Such are the conditions in the Sharjah detention facility where people like British national Ali Issa Ahmed are held during investigations, and prior to sentencing, explains Detained in Dubai CEO Radha Stirling. Ali, a chocolate factory worker from Wolverhampton, was vacationing in the UAE last month and attended a match during the Asian Cup when he was attacked by security personnel for wearing a Qatar team jersey. When he reported the assault to police, he was accused of falsif

Dubai’s banks adapt to tougher economic and regulatory environment

Tougher economic conditions and more intrusive supervision is forcing banks in Dubai to consolidate to preserve margins and profitability. Old habits die hard though, especially in hard times. Lawyer Radha Stirling is founder and CEO of the legal and human rights organisation Detained in Dubai, which helps people that fall foul of Dubai's laws. “Having represented investors, banks and their customers for over a decade, I have noted that conditions for expats and investors worsen in the event of economic downturn. When oil prices are low or unstable, banks are under pressure to recoup losses,” she says. “During downturns, banks have acted far more aggressively than usual, declining reasonable

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