Dubai Revises Antiquated Drug Laws
Detained in Dubai was founded following the arrest of Cat Le-Huy who was carrying jet lag remedy melatonin with him to Dubai. He was then accused of having “specs of marijuana dust” at the bottom of his bag, later proven to be untrue. Radha Stirling, CEO of Detained in Dubai has since represented dozens of foreigners who have been charged with similar drugs related crimes. People like Peter Clark who was earlier this year arrested for having trace elements of THC in his bloodstream from hashish consumed legally in Las Vegas before he travelled.
Detained in Dubai’s endless campaigning for victims of Dubai’s antiquated drug laws has resulted in positive legislative change in the UAE.
Ms Stirling said in a statement today:
“It’s pleasing to see the UAE is finally addressing draconian drug laws that have seen numerous foreigners locked up for arbitrary reasons like prescription medicine, residual THC in blood from hashish consumed overseas as well as simply knowing someone who has possessed small amounts of drugs. This is a step in the right direction and something we’ve pursued for almost 14 years. But what really needs to be focussed on is forced confessions and wrongful prosecutions like we have seen in the case of Billy Hood whose appeal results are expected today.
“The changes in law have come after years of public outrage caused by the large number of wrongful arrests and prosecutions. We are pleased to see the UAE responding to calls for legislative change but the procedural issues will continue to cause unfair detentions”.
Stirling’s first case involving her friend, Cat Le-Huy, was pulled aside on arrival in Dubai for a random search that revealed he was carrying a legal health supplement known as “melatonin”. Melatonin is a supplement that assists with jet lag symptoms & is available legally over the counter in the United Arab Emirates. Regardless, Mr Le-Huy was subjected to a full strip search, urine tests & was, under duress, forced to sign a confession in Arabic, a language he does not understand and to agree with the Dubai authorities not to obtain legal representation. Le-Huy was held for seven weeks before legal and lobbying intervention expedited his release.
Family man and veteran Andy Neal was rounded up by police because he was in someone’s phone contact list in their phone, a neighbour he barely knew. British veteran Andrew Neal has been acquitted by an Abu Dhabi court of baseless drug charges after over a year in prison. Neal was arrested in October last year as part of a large-scale police operation against a suspected drug syndicate, despite there being no evidence to substantiate his involvement. Police searched Neal, his car, and his apartment and found no trace of drugs, neither in his possession nor in his bloodstream. He was eventually exonerated after a year in Abu Dhabi’s notorious prison.
Derrin Crawford, British air hostess, 23, was arrested in Dubai and held in notorious jail after police raid apartment of 'British' man she had just gone on first date with and find two cannabis joints. After public outrage, Derrin was released.
Veteran Perry Coppins was held in the same prison as Billy Hood after he was found with prescription medication for his PTSD. Coppins was held in jail for five weeks, released after Detained in Dubai’s intervention.
Keith Brown was sentenced to four years in jail after Dubai customs officers found a tiny speck of cannabis, weighing just 0.003g, stuck to his shoe. He was reportedly freed a few weeks later.
Peter Clark was arrested after a blood test revealed trace elements of hashish in his system, but it was smoked outside of the UAE in Las Vegas, where the substance is legal. After Detained in Dubai lobbied the US to intervene, he was released.
Conor Clements a young British man was arrested in the UAE for traces of medical marijuana that were left in his system after legally taking it in the UK
Detained in Dubai: http://www.detainedindubai.org
Radha Stirling: http:///www.radhastirling.com
Due Process International http://www.dueprocess.international