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  • Detained in Dubai

Steve Long was arrested in the UAE because he was afraid.


Etihad Airways jails British army veteran suffering from PTSD who was "afraid" of Houthi rebels targeting airports.

On January 28th, the 39-year-old from Stockport, Manchester told airport staff in Abu Dhabi, before he was to board a flight home, that he feared there would be a bomb on the plane. He wasn’t making a bad joke; he was in the grips of residual trauma resulting from years of work as a paramedic involved with bomb disposal units in the military and civilian sector; which caused an apparent episode of heightened fear and paranoia, especially because of the drone attacks that were targeting airports in Abu Dhabi.

Airport staff could have taken Steve aside and simply talked to him to allay his fears,” Radha Stirling, CEO and founder of Detained in Dubai said, “Instead, after Etihad made a criminal complaint, he was arrested and faces a prison sentence. Airline security makes no distinction between threats and passenger concerns about threats; they are treating Steve as though he intended to cause a disruption, when in reality, he was just scared.”

Steve Long was in the Army (REME) until 2004

Long, who had travelled to Abu Dhabi on holiday to meet a friend, had been showing signs of deteriorating mental health in the days prior to the incident, which was, in fact, why he was going home that day. “We’re afraid that my brother is suffering from undiagnosed PTSD,” Long’s sister Clare explained, “His behaviour while on holiday was becoming erratic, and we wanted to get him back to the UK. The plan was to meet him at the airport on arrival, and