Wednesday, January 02, 2013

2-Jan-13: For readers concerned with what is still being done to a distinguished healer of children with cancer

Emirates chairman Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed al-Maktoum [Image Source]
For our many readers who are interested in the outcome of today's hearing in the outrageous criminal case brought against the elderly and distinguished paediatric oncologist, Prof. Cyril Karabus in a United Arab Emirates sharia court.

We don't know much more than the following in which The National, a newspaper published in Abu Dhabi, says that earlier today (Wednesday):
Prosecutors were once more unable to produce the original hospital files, prompting the judge to remove the case from the court's roll and order them to restate their case. They must now either present the documents or drop the charges. Meanwhile, the professor will remain on bail. His passport was handed in as a condition of bail. The judge did not set another date.
In August 2012, Prof. Karabus was an unsuspecting passenger on Emirates Airlines, returning to South Africa after his son's wedding in Canada, and transiting through Dubai airport when he was arrested and thrown into a UAE jail notorious for the harsh conditions in which prisoners, many of them charged with being terrorists, are kept. The charge sheet referred to his having been convicted of culpability in the death of a terminally ill child a decade earlier. He had never been informed of those charges or of the fact that he had been convicted.

We have been tracking this disgraceful affair because of the screaming injustice - not in itself an unusual phenomenon in that part of the world - that it represents, but also because Qantas, the great Australian airline, is about to start shunting thousands of London-bound passengers via the UAE as a result of its new tie-up with Emirates (both the airline and the statelet). For links to previous posts, "25-Dec-12: The Emirates scandal: the missing evidence turns up".

Most Australians have no idea what kind of life and dangers go on behind the glitzy veneer of international airports in the UAE. It's time they did.

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