Skip to main content

​Detained in Dubai warns Brits in Dubai may face retaliatory harassment following Sheikh Mohammed guilty ruling

Press release   •   Mar 07, 2020 12:51 GMT

Sheikh Mohammed under pressure to step down as Dubai ruler

Following the publication this week of a British judge’s finding that Dubai’s Ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum ordered, organised and is culpable for the illegal abductions of two of his adult children, Detained in Dubai CEO Radha Stirling cautioned that UK citizens in Dubai may be subject to targeted harassment by police and immigration authorities, as well as by the Emirati general public, in retaliation for the ruling.

“There is every reason to believe that British citizens living in or visiting Dubai are at heightened risk after the publication of Sir Andrew McFarlane’s ruling,” she said, “both the cases of Princesses Shamsa and Latifa demonstrated that the state apparatus of Dubai, specifically the security services, military and law enforcement, operate according to the personal wishes of Sheikh Mohammed, and he does not hesitate to mobilise them for vindictive and egoistic purposes. Furthermore, the police, prosecutors and judges in Dubai surely know without being told that any case filed against a British national at this time will proceed rapidly to conviction without the slightest scrutiny; if only to send a message to the UK government.”

Stirling expressed concerns that British citizens who are currently suffering wrongful detention in Dubai may also be subjected to abuse by guards and inmates, and that the FCO may be powerless to object.

“Abuse and violence are well-documented in Dubai’s police stations and the central jail; British citizen Lee Bradley Brown was murdered in police custody in 2011 and we have countless testimonies by UK and other foreign nationals about the prevalence of torture in Dubai’s detention facilities,” Stirling said, “In the wake of the McFarlane ruling, Dubai prison officials are likely to feel they have a ‘license to abuse’ British detainees in retaliation, and may even expect to be rewarded for such targeted violations by their superiors for what will be viewed as a show of fealty to Sheikh Mohammed. The FCO and consular officials will almost certainly be stonewalled by Dubai authorities in any effort they might make to intervene on behalf of British citizens.

“Sheikh Mohammed has few options for expressing his objection to the McFarlane ruling, but he will undoubtedly seek retribution against the UK for essentially identifying him as a kidnapper and torturer. One of the only methods available to him will be to put pressure on the British government by targeting our country’s citizens in Dubai.”

Stirling urged the FCO to update and increase its travel warnings to UK citizens going to the UAE. “Dubai was already a very risky place for British tourists and expats, and it just became considerably more dangerous.”

UK court rules Sheikh Mohammed breached international law when he abducted crew of Nostromo, including Princess Latifa.

UAE Criminal and Civil Justice Specialists.  Contact us on or

(UK) +44 207 060 6900   (USA) +1 786 789 2347   @Twitter   @Facebook

Radha Stirling, is founder and CEO of UK / USA based legal and human rights organisation Detained in Dubai, Expert Witness and respected analyst of Middle East Policy.

Copyright © Detained in Dubai 2007-2019. Detained in Dubai Limited, is registered in England and Wales under company number 12145991 with its registered office at Kemp House, 180 City Road, London EC1 2NX UK

Comments (0)

Add comment


By submitting the comment you agree that your personal data will be processed according to Mynewsdesk's Privacy Policy.