Monday, November 3, 2014

UAE: Travel to the Emirates...Only If You Are a HIGHLY Successful Attorney

According to The Associated Press, a 70-year-old US citizen who visited the Emirates to speak at a conference on creative thinking was arrested in October for taking a photograph of a subject deemed off-limits by authorities, his daughter and a friend said Monday (November 3).
COMMENT: My personal advice for foreigners to the UAE. DON'T do the following:

1. Be intimate with any person;

2. NEVER consume alcohol;

3. LEAVE your camera at home; and

4. Know what NOT to do!

Although the UAE has always characterized itself as "enlightened," don't ever believe it.

Robert Alan Black is the latest foreigner to be arrested for breeching rules limiting what can be photographed in the oil-rich Gulf federation. The country is an important seemingly US ally that boasts cutting-edge architecture, including a vertical disc-shaped office building and the world's tallest tower.

Yet, beneath the surface, this is very much a Muslim nation that has a real-world program for zero-tolerance for alcohol consumption. As for intimacy between foreigners, imagine a very small CELL in your immediate future.
Black's daughter, Jessica Beasley, said she is concerned about her father's health in jail and believes any inappropriate pictures that the Athens, GA resident may have taken were unintentional.
She said she spoke to him by phone twice briefly since his arrest on October 21.
"He took a photo where he was not supposed to. He's very remorseful," she said her father told her from al-Wathba Prison in the Emirati capital, Abu Dhabi.
Black suffers from diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol, Beasley the younger said. She said a US consular official has visited him and confirmed he is receiving medical treatment.
The US Embassy said it was unable to comment on the case Monday (November 3) due to privacy restrictions, but that has always been a US State Department ruse to NOT make a statement at all.
A number of foreigners have been prosecuted by a state security court in recent years for taking pictures of subjects deemed prohibited by Emirati authorities, such as palaces or embassies.
In several cases, defendants denied knowingly breaking the law or said they were intending to photograph a nearby structure rather than the prohibited facility. Photographing or filming restricted areas can be punishable by fines and jail time under Emirati law.

As for "creative thinking," the UAE would be LAST on my list to address the concept.
Black is an architect by training and is an avid photographer of buildings, said friend, Rosemary Rein. She and Black were in Abu Dhabi to speak at the Creative Thinkers Conference.
Family and friends don't know what charges Black could face or when his case will be heard, and he has yet to even speak to an attorney, Rein said.
An Emirati court last year sentenced eight people, including an American, to up to a year in prison for their role in producing a satirical video about youth culture in Dubai that prosecutors said defamed the country's image. 

The American, Shezanne Cassim, was released within weeks of the verdict, after having already serving nine months behind bars.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You can be detained in the United States without access to a lawyer or any charge.

Maybe only successful attorneys should go there?! Sheesh!

- A 7-year UAE expat