U.S. Government Must Demand Judicial Due Process and the Rule of Law in United Arab Emirates and Call for an End to Dubai’s Disregard for Zack Shahin’s Due Process Rights
WASHINGTON, June 21, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — As U.S. citizen Zack Shahin approaches day 40 of his hunger strike in protest of U.S. government inaction to publicly call for the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.) government and Dubai authorities to grant his immediate and reasonable bail, it has become increasingly frustrating and inexplicable how U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton continues her stubborn refusal to publicly rebuke those who have violated the rule of law in Shahin’s case. Secretary Clinton and the U.S. State Department have repeatedly publicly supported imprisoned non-U.S. citizens including Russian oligarchs, Ukrainian politicians, and Chinese dissidents. In the case of Yulia Tymoshenko, she wrote to the jailed former Ukrainian prime minister in a January 2012 letter “We will continue to advocate for judicial due process and the release of you and the other imprisoned former senior government officials as a critical step in that process.” Yet, for Zack Shahin and other imprisoned foreign businessmen in Dubai, there has been no public dismay voiced by Secretary Clinton for the disparity in how expatriates and Emiratis are treated by Dubai’s judicial system. U.S. legal counsel for Zack Shahin issued the following statement on this disturbing disparity:
“This is what being an Emirati citizen, convicted of 3,689 counts of issuing bad checks worth over Dh1.1 billion, defrauding and stealing from over 3,800 victims, and sentenced to 923 years in prison gets you = Bail
This is what being a British citizen, convicted of 3 counts of issuing bad checks, and sentenced to 7 years in prison gets you = No Bail
This is what being a British citizen, convicted of securing a Dh20 million loan with bad checks, and sentenced to 23 years in prison gets you = No Bail
This is what being an Irish citizen, convicted of issuing 1 bad check, and sentenced to 6 years in prison gets you = No Bail
This is what being a U.S. citizen, convicted of nothing and imprisoned 4 years without trial gets you = No Bail and No Trial
And the U.A.E. wants you to believe they have equal justice and due process for all?!”
Secretary Clinton, your reputation and legacy are at risk if you continue kowtowing to the U.A.E. government and Dubai authorities and turning a blind eye to the lack of due process and the rule of law in Dubai. Now is the time to speak out publicly against the disparity amongst Emirati and expatriate ‘justice’ and save U.S. citizen Zack Shahin’s life. Secretary Clinton owes answers to Zack Shahin, his family, and the American public. Time is running out to make a difference. Zack’s life is in your hands.
For more information on Zack Shahin’s hunger strike in protest of U.S. government timidity to publicly speak out against Dubai’s due process violation and disregard for the rule of law in his case, please visit www.FreeZack.com.
U.S. legal counsel to Zack Shahin are: Jim Jatras, Rebekah Poston, and Eric Akers.
SOURCE U.S. Legal Counsel for Zack Shahin