US Veteran Stuck in Prison After Dubai “loses passport”
Afghanistan veteran and PTSD sufferer, Shannon Johnston, held in Dubai debtors prison because authorities “lost his passport”.
“My father has been detained for almost a year over a bank debt he could not pay”, said Jasmyn Johnston, his 22 year old daughter, “he was told because of changes to the law that he would be released earlier this month but then they couldn’t release him because they had LOST his passport”.
Radha Stirling, CEO of Detained in Dubai spoke to Jasmyn this week. “It’s quite common for Dubai authorities to lose passports, regularly causing release delays”, explained Stirling. Jasmyn is looking after her two young children and is desperate for her father to come home and live with them.
Shannon was told he would need an emergency passport from the US embassy but the embassy requires a new digital photo, an impossible request to fulfil from the prison. Stirling has notified the US Embassy of his plight and requested their urgent intervention. “Shannon has been through enough. He’s been held prisoner over a bank debt, lost the job he was flying to and suffered declining mental health. The PTSD sufferer has found it particularly traumatic with the latest Houthi rebel attacks, triggering flashbacks for the 42 year old.
“Given that Shannon is scheduled for release, either the UAE needs to let him free with a request to return to register his new passport or the US needs to arrange the passport replacement and overcome the obstacles. He is not able to leave the UAE immediately in any case as he will be required to file for bankruptcy he has been told. He is not an international criminal and hardly a flight risk.