American stroke victim held hostage in UAE over debts

Press Releases   •   Dec 17, 2017 17:55 GMT

David Oliver, the American University professor is facing detention for the rest of his life in the UAE over a debt he could never pay. Detained in Dubai, who is representing Mr Oliver is pushing for the bank to forgive the irrecoverable debt and allow him to return to his anxious family in the US.

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Flaw in Dubai legal system leaving British visitors vulnerable. Asa Hutchinson case only the tip of the iceberg

Press Releases   •   Dec 17, 2017 15:00 GMT

British National Asa Hutchinson is not alone in being charged with a crime for being in the vicinity of the alleged incident. In the confusion of a crime report, it is common for victims to accuse all members of a party and in many cases, even witnesses are dragged through the judicial system.

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Connor Clements appeal to be ruled on 3 days before Christmas. Brit facing 2 years jail in Dubai for using legal marijuana medication in England 3 weeks before.

Press Releases   •   Dec 17, 2017 14:44 GMT

On the 21st December, 3 days before Christmas, when most Brits are looking forward to time with family and cosy nights with good food and loved ones, Connor Clements will be staring down the barrel of a two year sentence in a bleak, Middle Eastern jail infamous for human rights violations and torture. He did nothing illegal while in Dubai or the UK.

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UAE still ill treating detained Scotsman Billy Barclay, even after his return to the UK

Press Releases   •   Dec 17, 2017 14:32 GMT

Edinburgh father Billy Barclay made worldwide headlines in September this year when he was detained for months in Dubai over an alleged fake £20 note. The case was dropped but Billy was held in Ras al Khamaih, away from his family. He spent his family’s life savings on legal and living expenses, before the British NGO Detained In Dubai secured his release via a worldwide media campaign.

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Malaysian government needs to support Richard Lau, imprisoned in UAE without charge for receiving his wages. Detained in Dubai calls on Malaysian officials to pressure the UAE government to bail Richard Lau immediately

Press Releases   •   Dec 17, 2017 10:42 GMT

Richard’s lengthy detention without charge has shocked Malaysian and Chinese nationals who had felt that the UAE was a safe place to work and invest in. Although Detained in Dubai has dealt with thousands of similar cases over the past decade, most cases are not published in the media. When they are, professionals and investors ask themselves if they would want to take the risk of becoming involved in a country whose judicial system is so volatile and open to abuse.

Radha Stirling, Detained in Dubai’s CEO said “Richard’s detention is unlawful and the Malaysian government needs to push the UAE to be accountable for their actions. They either need to charge and bail Richard or release him immediately. UAE law provides the Prosecution three weeks to detain a suspect during investigation. If there is insufficient evidence after three weeks, the suspect should be released. The UAE has repeatedly imprisoned foreign nationals for periods in excess of 1 year to ultimately release them without apology and without compensation. Such treatment is not in alignment with international legal standards and is a clear violation of human rights treaties to which the UAE is a signatory”.

Richard Lau Case History. 41 year old Richard Lau, from Kuching, Sarawak State in Malaysia has been in jail for eight months in Dubai for being paid his wages. Richard who worked as a project coordinator for the Shin Yang shipping company at its UAE subsidiary in Ras Al Khaima, was caught in the crossfire of an argument between the Emirati owner of the subsidiary and the parent company. Eight people were accused of stealing funds by the UAE businessman.

These “stolen funds” were in fact the wages that Richard Lau and his coworkers were due, and paid to them by their company exactly as they had been promised.

Walid Jumaa Abu Shabas, the Emirati businessman who owned the subsidiary argued that he had not approved the work Richard and the other accused were doing, therefore the wages were “stolen.”

This meant, according to Mr Abu Shabas, that Richard and the others, who had no idea about this argument between the partners, and were going about their work as instructed had technically stolen the money. Money which was paid to them as earned wages, in the usual fashion, by the usual source.

Richard was completely shocked to be among eight workers arrested and accused of embezzlement. 

Richard Lau. A “strong sense of right and wrong” according to friends.

Richard, a keen Newcastle United supporter, who had worked happily for Shin Yang for five years, was the only worker who chose to remain in Dubai. He believed in the rule of law, and that whatever arguments had happened between the executives, he had personally done nothing wrong. He had worked as instructed, and been paid as agreed. He believed that common sense would prevail and he would be absolved of blame.

When Walid Jumaa Abu Shabas, found that the Richard’s bosses had left the UAE and couldn’t be prosecuted, as had the company accountants, he decided to place responsibility on the only man remaining in the country. Richard Lau found himself improbably taking the blame for the whole affair, and incarcerated by the prosecutor, in the interests of the powerful Emirati businessman.

Richard had always had high hopes for his life according to those who know him. He finished university in New Zealand full of business ideas and plans. He saw the higher wages that the UAE offered as a way to fund those ideas, despite the homesickness he felt for Malaysia, his family, friends and his mother’s home cooked food.

Everyone who knows Richard describes him as personable, funny, honest and witty. His sister, Eileen says, “Richard gets on with everybody from every background. He cares about people, and because of that they gravitate towards him.”

Richard has been in jail for eight months so far. Every two weeks the prosecution extends his case, and it seems there is no end in sight for the popular Malaysian. UAE jails are so dangerous in terms of human rights violations and torture that many countries refuse extradition requests as a matter of course.

His other sister Antonia tells us, “Richard had no idea that his wages were in dispute. He expected them each month as we all do, and they got paid. He thought nothing of it, any more than anyone else would about their wages being paid into the bank. It’s not like anybody called him to tell him there was a problem, or that he shouldn’t accept his wages. He had no idea. It was a total shock to him when he got arrested”

For the foreseeable future Richard remains in the harsh Middle Eastern prison, locked up with murderers, thieves and rapists, with no idea if and when he will ever be free.

Radha Stirling, CEO of the British based NGO Detained In Dubai who are representing Richard had this to say, “Richard is one of many people detained in the UAE without evidence. Unfortunately, even though the laws provide that a suspect should be released within three weeks if not charged, the legislation is not followed by local authorities and in practice, foreigners have been detained for far in excess of twelve months without charge, especially where the accuser is an Emirati.

“Richard was not involved in his company’s policy making and could not have been responsible for Walid’s perceived misfortunes, but has been in custody for the last eight months. His life is in pieces because of the ease at which the flawed UAE legal system can be seemingly manipulated by a powerful Emirati.

“I hope that the Malaysian government will apply diplomatic pressure on the UAE to either charge Richard Lau and give him an opportunity to defend himself, or to secure his immediate release.”

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Richard’s lengthy detention without charge shocks Malaysian and Chinese nationals who had felt that the UAE was a safe place to work and invest in. Detained in Dubai has dealt with thousands of similar cases over the past decade, which weren't published in the media. Professionals and investors rethinking involvement in a country whose judicial system is so volatile and open to abuse.

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Shock at eight month “spite jailing” of Malaysian national Richard Lau. Imprisoned in Dubai for receiving his wages.

Press Releases   •   Dec 08, 2017 10:42 GMT

Innocent Malaysian jailed 8 months in Dubai for being paid his wages. The project director was caught in the crossfire of an argument between the Emirati owner of the subsidiary and the parent company. One party argued that the work was not approved, and so any wages paid were deemed to be "stolen." The workers had no idea about the dispute and thought they were working/being paid as normal.

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Paralysed British stroke victim “held hostage” in Dubai over business debt.

Press Releases   •   Dec 06, 2017 09:46 GMT

71 year Malcolm Munroe, hospitalised after suffering a stroke in 2013 left him paralysed and bedridden, unable to move except for blinking. A string of misfortunes left him with debts he can never pay. Dubai’s legal system treats Malcolm as a criminal, detained until his debts are paid and he completes a 3 year jail sentence. Malcolm has no chance to pay those debts or survive the sentence.

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Man detained in Dubai for "making too much money."

Press Releases   •   Dec 06, 2017 09:43 GMT

Richard Lau was arrested last April with several others, based on accusations from an Emirati businessman that Richard’s salary and commissions constitute embezzlement from his company. Despite no evidence of wrongdoing, Richard’s detention is extended every two weeks as the Public Prosecutor requests more time to investigate. Every accused party has been released while Richard stays in jail.

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Inside Detained In Dubai, the NGO representing Asa Hutchinson, and who secured the release from Dubai of Jamie Harron, Billy Barclay and Jamil Mukadam. The CEO and founder, Radha Stirling talks candidly.

News   •   Dec 04, 2017 08:00 GMT

Recent world news has been full of high profile cases involving Brits and other expats treated inhumanely by Dubai's immature legal system. Torture, disproportionate punishments, Interpol abuse over minor debts and detention of unsuspecting tourists. One organisation is always there, fighting to get justice and fair treatment for the victims. A look behind the scenes of Detained In Dubai.

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Young British girl facing jail in Dubai for witnessing argument in hotel lobby, as actual suspects flee the country.

Press Releases   •   Nov 29, 2017 08:00 GMT

21 year old Asa Hutchinson tells Detained in Dubai she was leaving a brunch with a group of visiting friends when she witnessed an argument between some boys who were in her party and an older, drunk man who had been asleep on a couch in the hotel lobby. Since then, all of the visitors have left the UAE, but expat Asa , a "quiet, sensible girl" has been charged by the man and faces jail in Dubai.

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About Detained In Dubai

Detained in Dubai is a not for profit NGO which specialises in helping people in trouble in the UAE and other unfamiliar legal systems

The leading international experts on Middle Eastern Law. Specialising in, but not limited to Dubai and the UAE.

Detained In Dubai is a Not For Profit NGO that has been helping both ordinary victims of the UAE justice system and high profile cases successfully for over ten years.

We work with lawyers internationally for multi jurisdictional conflicts as well as working with reliable law firms in the UAE who we have grown to trust after years of positive outcomes.

We assist with case strategy, press, negotiating the legal system in the UAE and whatever it takes to achieve a positive outcome for you.

We assist people who are facing sometimes unbelievable situations that they never imagined possible, some with extensive international business and travel experience.

We act as a communications platform for international journalists reporting on foreign news, travel news, business news, higher educations news, and even now arts news, golfing news, racing news, etc.--as the very troubling situation is affecting all sectors with people like you working in and visiting the UAE.

We produce case studies, many which have not yet been reported by the media, because the victims are afraid to speak out.

While based in the London area to avoid the threat of political influence or pressure, we reach out to those affected by injustice in the UAE internationally. Our goal is to facilitate positive change, faster, by communicating the sometimes very disturbing experiences of foreign nationals there.

We are convinced that more international visibility and pressure will lead to faster reform and the UAE can become a mutually and culturally respectful, international meeting point for us all.

We assist with the entire legal process, including negotiations, representation in Court in the UAE and abroad where required (eg. Interpol and Extradition).


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