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14 Years: Detained in Dubai

Detained in Dubai reflects on 14 years of service

“It is such an honour to be approaching a decade and a half of service”, said Radha Stirling, the organisation’s founder, who has faced great triumphs and adversity over her years of defending victims in the Middle East. “The tragedies, the sleepless nights, the hackers and spies, the autocratic rulers combined with great victories, change and life changing moments. There is never a dull moment at Detained in Dubai.

Stirling founded Detained in Dubai in 2008 during her advocacy for friend, Cat Le-Huey:

“We have highlighted systemic issues within the UAE’s judicial system, those of corruption, police brutality, forced confessions and wrongful prosecutions and we highlighted legislative concerns in desperate need of review. In doing so, we have managed to save thousands of people from arbitrary detention and human rights violations.

“For over a decade, we have been the most outspoken critics of Interpol, the crime reporting organisation, notorious for corruption and ‘pay to play’ membership. We’ve managed to raise the unfair detentions of Conor Howard and Robert Urwin in Parliament and escalate the issue of Interpol Abuse to policy influencers in Washington DC. After assisting in hundreds of Interpol and Extradition injustices, we are now working to shift policy and make Interpol legally accountable. In 2010, I worked with Australian senators to successfully enshrine human rights provisions into the extradition treaty with the UAE. With a class action in preparation, we expect the climate within Interpol to shift, ultimately leading to further protections against the misuse of Interpol’s databases that result in lengthy and unfair detentions abroad. Interpol Abuse has become such a huge issue that it was necessary to found IPEX (Interpol and Extradition) Reform to fully support this campaign. We are proud to have prevented extraditions to countries like the UAE, Qatar, Saudi, Korea, Russia and Egypt but the battle continues, with Interpol having controversially