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  • Radha Stirling

UAE residents in fear over social media use, after the arrest of a British National for talking abou

UAE´s shocking (and seemingly confused) application of their new charity laws, leaves residents wondering if they are even allowed to talk about charities that exist outside of the UAE.

British National Scott Richards, from Primrose Hill in London, was arrested for suspected violations of the UAE´s charity restrictions. Although on inspection, he did not raise funds for any charity and volunteered for charities while outside of the UAE. Technically, he should not have been arrested under these laws, but it seems, law enforcers need further training.

In light of this matter and the publicity it has so far received, residents are fearful that they could be arrested, just for speaking about international charities. Because that is all that Scott did, he spoke about a charity and for that, he has spent the past three weeks, jailed in appalling conditions. The British Embassy is involved, but can do little more than check on his physical welfare.

Humanitarian crises around the world are beyond the ability of governments and international bodies to deal with alone. Private charitable organisations play an integral role in providing relief in crisis zones, and must have the freedom to promote their programs and raise funds without fear of imprisonment.