New Detained in Dubai Membership Program to provide immediate, ongoing intervention
Scott Richards has been indefinitely detained by police in Dubai for posting on social media about his charity work. This is a perfect example of how arbitrarily anyone can be arrested in the UAE for often the most unexpected and inexplicable reasons.
We have dealt with many such cases involving "offences" that the average person would never imagine would land them in trouble with the law. In the UAE, you can be arrested for something as innocent as taking a selfie, watching an airplane, or kissing your spouse or partner; or, as in Scott's case, for simply writing online about helping the needy.
Over the years, we have noted that there is a serious deficiency in access to ongoing support for expats and other foreigners who encounter legal problems in the UAE. Our experience tells us that a systematic solution is necessary; otherwise every case will revert to ad hoc emergency campaigns to intervene for those unfairly detained. It has become increasingly clear that reforms to the UAE legal system are either proceeding far too slowly, or else they are not proceeding at all, and cases of arbitrary detention are becoming more, not less frequent. In our view, this necessitates the establishment of a permanent legal resource for expats and visitors to the UAE, to help them avoid trouble, and to support them when trouble occurs.
We therefore intend to launch a membership program within the coming months, that will equip subscribers with essential information prior to traveling to the UAE to prepare them for any potential problems they may encounter, and to provide them with immediate legal support if any problems arise.
In a country where allegations of wrongdoing can be so easily brought against anyone, and can lead to prosecution, jail time, exorbitant fines, or even indefinite detention without trial; it is an extremely risky place to visit without having first secured recourse to reliable and experienced legal support. Until now, no such resource has been consistently available, but the membership program Detained in Dubai is preparing to launch will fill that resource gap, and give expats and foreigners in the UAE the service, support, and protection they need on an ongoing basis.