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  • Writer's pictureDetained in Dubai

Political prisoner put in UAE solitary confinement after accusing Dechert lawyers of torture

Lawyer Karam before his imprisonment

Following our earlier news item about Karam al Sadeq filing a Claim in the London High Court against US law firm Dechert LLP and two partners in their London office, we are sorry to announce that Karam has since been denied access to legal representation and apparently placed in solitary confinement.

Detained in Dubai CEO, Radha Stirling commented, “The actions by RAK authorities to punish Karam al Sadeq and prevent his communication with legal counsel and the outside world in response to the complaint filed against Dechert LLP, is indicative of the collaborative and complicit relationship between RAK and the law firm; particularly in relation to the abuses Karam has suffered.”

It is against the law of the UAE to deny prisoners legal access and Karam continues to be kept in conditions that are against the UN Agreement on Human Rights in the Geneva Conventions.

“Karam Al Sadeq’s complaint is that his interrogation by Mr Neil Gerrard from Dechert’s London office was conducted unlawfully while he was detained in inhumane conditions in Ras Al Khaimah, including being kept in solitary confinement for 600 days,” Stirling explained. “Since he filed his High Court claim against Mr Gerrard, we have been denied access to our client, who has now again been placed in solitary confinement.”

Karam has now spent six years in custody in Ras Al Khaimah, one of the seven emirates of the UAE, on politically motivated charges.

In a recent London High Court hearing, Dechert’s global co-head of white-collar crime, Neil Gerrard, admitted in open court to interrogating Karam al Sadeq at pages 32 - 45 of the court transcript. (attached below as word doc).

Gerrard implied that he only interrogated Karam on one occasion, and that Karam’s lawyer was always present. However, Karam’s High Court claim alleges that he was interrogated approximately 15 times by Mr Gerrard, including sometimes by David Hughes, formerly of Dechert, now of Stewarts Law; it is also understood that Caroline Black of Dechert was sometimes at these interrogations, which took place without Karam’s lawyer being present.

In the same testimony in open court, Neil Gerrard also implied that the Solicitors Regulatory Authority (SRA) had looked at Karam al Sadeq’s complaint at the same time as another complaint against him by Shahab Izadpanah, and had decided to take no further action. Detained in Dubai has learnt that the principle reason the SRA did not pursue this in the past was due to a lack of documentary evidence. Karam has also only now filed his SRA complaint last week, which is attached herewith (scroll to bottom to see PDF) . According to The Times the SRA will now look into Karam’s complaint.

Stirling reiterated Detained in Dubai’s commitment to pursuing justice for Karam al Sadeq, “The recent punitive actions by the prison authorities in RAK against Karam only further expose the fact that Dechert and RAK have been partners in the violation of his human rights and the circumvention of due process. After six years in jail in appalling conditions and on politically motivated charges, we want Karam released immediately and those responsible for his botched and biased investigation brought to justice.”

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