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21 Year Old Sentenced to Death over £260 worth of Drugs



A 21 year old British Citizen and a 19 year old Syrian have been sentenced to death in the emirate of Abu Dhabi, UAE following a police sting operation that lead to them being charged with selling drugs, to the value of £260.


The mother of the British man collapsed outside the courtroom after the sentencing and was supported by the Syrian’s mother.


There is the opportunity to appeal this decision and we expect to hear further news in the next two weeks, the time in which an appeal must be lodged.


If the sentencing is upheld on appeal, the method of execution in the United Arab Emirates is usually by Firing Squad.


Radha Stirling, Founder of Detained in Dubai:


“We are very deeply saddened by today’s news reports of a 21-year-old Briton sentenced to death in the UAE. Unfortunately, however, we are not surprised given the shocking developments regarding reports of police action and the state of the country’s judicial system over recent years. In response to this news in particularly, we call on national governments, including the UK, to finally take decisive action and properly warn their citizens about the real risks of visiting the UAE.”


“We call on the UK and other national governments to immediately initiate a communications campaign to adequately and properly warn their citizens of the unusual and unexpected risks of stopping over, vacationing, doing business, investing, etc. in the UAE until the country modernises its laws— to parallel the country’s initiatives to desperately attract foreign visitors, vacationers, employees, etc. Until then, we advise all foreign nationals to avoid travel to and through the UAE, because the risks are simply not worth it.”


“The proposed communications campaign would properly aim to balance the massively funded media relations campaigns over recent years, as journalists are well aware, publicising the ‘biggest, brightest, most expensive’ to attract international attention. With even Western celebrities promoting their brands in partnership as well as big business— travel, lifestyle, sports, etc., even arts and culture— others have been influenced by the massive publicity perceiving the UAE as a suitable and safe destination. We receive countless calls weekly from various people from all walks of life caught out in the UAE, some in ways they had never even imagined.”


These include but are not limited to:


1.  Pharmaceutical drugs found in blood tests such as painkillers

2.  Wrongful accusations of drug consumption without evidence

3.  Poppy seeds on the bottom of shoe from bread roll

4.  Breach of Decency charges based on clothing

5.  Imprisonment after kissing on the cheek

6.  Swearing

7.  Being drunk in public, without evidence

8.  Bouncing a cheque

9.  Credit card payment issues and other debt

10. Breach of Trust without sufficient evidence


“We are grateful to any news organizations and journalists to help get the word out on a consistent basis until every person from all walks of life, especially impressionable youth, are fully aware of the realities and risks of visiting the UAE.”

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