Miami accountant, Danielle Jeffries, 58, had hoped she’d be home this Christmas to see her 93 year old mother who had just survived coronavirus, but she remains stuck in the United Arab Emirates. Danielle is the latest American to face the Dubai justice system where she’s been sentenced to jail, a hefty fine and deportation for petty crimes she didn’t commit.
The case of Danielle Jeffries - American facing jail for opening her own business in Dubai - Detained in Dubai | Podcast on Spotify
Listen to this episode from Gulf in Justice on Spotify. Miami woman detained in Dubai for starting her own accountancy business “suffered racism”. Miami accountant Danielle Jeffries, 58, is the latest American to face the Dubai justice system where she’s been sentenced to jail, a hefty fine and deportation for crimes she didn’t commit. Detained in Dubai’s founder, Radha Stirling responded to the conviction, “Despite clear evidence of Ms Jeffries’ innocence, Dubai police allowed the PRO to change his witness testimony and subsequently prosecuted both parties on behalf of their Australian accuser. Danielle has been caught up in the shambles of a legal system, thrown from pillar to post while trying to defend herself from these charges. She has tried everything to have her voice heard by authorities, even having contacted as a last resort, the Minister of Happiness, who couldn’t understand how this had happened, expressed empathy but did nothing to help. “She spent 30 days without electricity and water, utilities she couldn’t connect in her flat while her passport was with police. She’s been battling depression, physical and psychological distress and is beside herself with worry over her 93 year old mother back in the States who she can’t visit as she used to. “The fact is, she can not pay the $40,000 fine so even if she’s arrested today and thrown in prison for three months, she still won’t be able to go home to the States. She’ll be stuck in the country indefinitely. It’s absolutely abominable that Dubai would treat investors like this. How will the city attract entrepreneurs when they can be prosecuted and jailed without evidence, then detained in the city indefinitely, with no permission to work to raise the money for their unfair fines? “Danielle Jeffries is a black woman in a Middle Eastern legal system and this in itself, will influence her access to a fair trial. The accuser, in criminal cases in Dubai, is almost always favoured and believed. Evidence is not required and a mere accusation is sufficient to achieve a conviction. Add to that the fact that she is a woman, and then that she is a black woman, and she is further disadvantaged in the judicial system. Racism and sexism are prevalent throughout the United Arab Emirates, to the point where a female rape victim will be charged with sex outside marriage, or where an Asian or African may be sentenced to death while a white Brit charged with murder, will be released in just a few years. “Congresswoman Frederica Wilson, who is supporting Danielle, approached the UAE’s Ambassador to the US, His Excellency Mr Yousef Al Otaiba, but his advice was simply to pay the fine. “We are writing to the US State Department to recommend they review and increase warnings to American citizens, and business and investment groups also need to be advised. The UAE has got away lightly with actions against US citizens. We have seen the UAE government attack a US registered yacht in international waters under false pretences, with no apparent consequence, and now we are seeing the systematic abuse of American tourists, expats and entrepreneurs in the UAE. David Oliver, was detained in Dubai over a bank debt and only through diplomatic intervention, was he returned home. Melissa McBurnie was arrested recently after being sexually harassed by an Egyptian man, only released following international outrage, and now we have Danielle, who is facing jail over a document she had nothing to do with. Gulf in Justice Podcast