Jamil Mukadam telephoned Radha Stirling of Detained in Dubai who was representing his campaign this afternoon, to inform her that he had just received his passport back and will fly home with his brother tonight.
Jamil was held in Dubai for five weeks after a complaint was filed with Dubai police that he had made a rude gesture in traffic during a previous visit to the gulf state.
Facing potentially months in prison, Jamil is now overwhelmed to be free. He told Radha by phone, “the complainant did not turn up to court and was uncontactable. My lawyer pled the case today and argued furiously for the prompt return of my passport." Stirling said, “it is unusual for the passport to be returned so quickly but we imagine the international spotlight on Dubai influenced their swift action”.
Jamil continued, “I arrive at Heathrow tomorrow morning and my family is in tears. I can’t wait to see them. I have spent over £15,000 in legal fees alone and it will take time for us to recover from this injustice. I am stunned at how little support I received from the British government and how many other people are in this situation. I met with Jamie Harron who is also detained here and can not believe he has been stuck here for five months already. I really feel for him. He is such a nice guy and also desperate to go home.”
Radha Stirling continued, “the UAE government needs to urgently revise its judicial system to end the wrongful detainment of foreign nationals. The country right now, seems to really care about marketing itself as an international tourist destination and investment hotspot but has no legal protection for visitors and expats. Until serious change is underway, foreign nationals will be apprehensive about visiting the country and many have cancelled their flights in light of the recent highly publicised cases. We have received innumerable messages from people in the same situation in the UAE and are having to hire additional staff to assist with the influx of new cases.
"Essam al Tamimi, CEO of Al Tamimi lawyers in the UAE has commented that the country needs to review its laws. We welcome working with people like Tamimi and the UAE government in any endeavours to improve the system and to make it safe to travellers in the future.
"I have spoken with Jamie Harron today who is very happy for Jamil’s release but remains concerned about his own situation and the possibility of being jailed in a country that the UK refuses to extradite to, based on the ‘real risk of human rights violations’.”
Billy Barclay was finally reunited with his family after being arrested over an alleged counterfeit £20 note. He has been speaking to press about his ordeal and supporting both Jamie and Jamil, with whom he is in regular contact.