Detained in Dubai’s 15th anniversary celebration
On the 30th of January, Detained in Dubai celebrated its 15th anniversary in London with friends, clients and members of the media and legal community. It was truly an honour to have so many wonderful people join us for such a special occasion and we thank everyone for their support.
Lord Clement Jones has advocated for British citizens wrongfully detained abroad. We were privileged to hear his powerful words of support for Dubai prisoners and for our organisation’s work. His Lordship has tirelessly advocated for Ryan Cornelius, Charles Ridley and has now come to learn about Albert Douglas, who shares a cell with Ryan and Charles. "We are truly grateful to have the support of an esteemed member of the House of Lords", added Radha Stirling, CEO of Detained in Dubai.
Lord Clement Jones delivers a powerful speech
See Lord Clement Jones & Radha Stirling on BBC
Albert’s son Wolfgang passionately told the harrowing story of his father’s wrongful detention and torture, a shocking representation of what lies behind the “glamorous” tourist destination. "Wolfgang has been tirelessly advocating for his innocent father's release from Dubai jail. He will never give up, we love his passion and we love him," said Ms Stirling.
John Glendinning arrived from Scotland, delivering an emotional speech after his brother Brian was released from an Iraqi prison. He was held over a small Qatar bank debt. In celebrating Brian’s release, we were reminded that others like Hussein Yactine remain locked up in foreign jails over small bank debts, a violation of Interpol’s charter. Brian has been desperately trying to help former cellmate, Hussein, get home. Stirling was elated to finally meet John in person after spending day and night on the phone to him during Brian's incarceration,"It was an absolute pleasure to work intensely with Brian's family to secure his freedom but as Brian says, there are still dozens of people detained abroad and the fight goes on. I look forward to seeing Brian and his family in Scotland later this year. They are forever my friends".
Professor John Cooper, KC highlighted the organisation’s ongoing battle for justice against powerful governments. With challenges ranging from Israeli spy companies and PR agencies deployed against Radha Stirling and her clients, to the heavy task of recruiting foreign governmental and diplomatic support and to saving people in life and death situations. Stirling previously worked with Cooper during the Princess Latifa fiasco, "John is a remarkable KC, author, professor and friend. His passionate speech was deeply appreciated as is his ongoing support for myself, for justice and for our organisation.
Many attendees were unaware of some of the horrendous cases Detained in Dubai has seen over the years. Veteran Perry Coppins spoke of the time he spent in prison and how it has subsequently impacted his life. Perry was locked up for prescription medicine, until a kind doctor told him to call “Detained in Dubai”. “I was out three days later”, he told the room. Radha has been friends with Perry ever since his release. "It was so good to see Perry in person again. His experience in the UAE had a terrible impact on his life. His story was very emotional for those who had only heard it for the first time."
In the audience was fellow veteran Andy Neal who was detained and abused by UAE authorities for a year before being finally exonerated. Stirling advocated for Andy's release after he was wrongfully arrested by Dubai police and their 'wide net' policies. "It was a blessing to meet Andy for the first time in person and for him to share his story with so many. It's disturbing that the countless people who are wrongfully detained in the UAE and subsequently released, do not receive compensation nor even an apology. Their mistreatment and abuse leaves permanent scars but the experience is just swept under the rug by Emirati authorities and by our own governments". Stirling, along with Baroness Whitaker, have lobbied the British government to increase travel warnings as a means to encourage local UAE reform.
Entrepreneur and author Marek Zmyslowsk spoke about his thrilling fight against a wrongful Interpol Red Notice. Marek’s life was forever touched and he is an ongoing advocate against Interpol abuse. For a tale of criminal gangs in Nigeria, of powerful enemies and life as an international fugitive, read Marek’s autobiography, Chasing Black Unicorns: How building the Amazon of Africa put me on Interpol's Most Wanted list. A number of former Interpol “fugitives” were present and ever supportive of IPEX Reform, Stirling’s organisation that lobbies for Interpol and extradition reform.
It was wonderful to hear from Mr André Gauthier and his son Alexis who joined the celebration from Quebec, Canada. André was scapegoated by powerful elites in the Gold AE scam. After an intense fight against the dozens of charges against him, he was fully exonerated. André is writing a book detailing the intrigue of his business and detention in Dubai. Stirling met him for the first time in person. "I was so happy André and his son Alexis made the trip from Canada to join our celebration. His case and the details of the Gold AE scam are shocking and I can't wait to read his book. His release was negotiated with the support of the media, the Canadian government and UAE diplomats."
Celebrity detective David Swindle joined us from Scotland to speak at the event. His work investigating deaths abroad, helping bereaved families seek justice is paramount to victims of crime. David frequently appears in documentaries and on television. He is the senior investigator who brought serial killer Peter Tobin to justice. David is touring the UK all year in “The Makings of a Murderer” - Investigating The UK’s Most Notorious Serial Killers and we have no doubt you will enjoy the show!
Finally, attendees learned the organisation was founded after former “big brother boss” Cat Le-Huy was detained in Dubai. If it weren’t for Cat’s 7 week long detention for melatonin pills, 20,000 people would not have been helped by Detained in Dubai. Cat Le-Huey. "It's hard to imagine how my life may have turned out if I wasn't thrust into my position at Detained in Dubai, but I am ever grateful to Cat for enduring that seven weeks in Al Wathba. Without that taunting experience, thousands more would have suffered. Our angel".
We are ever grateful to those who shared our event last week including members of British media, lawyers, litigation funders and friends. With your support, our work is made possible.