Wednesday, May 15, 2013

15-May-13: Emirates authorities 'bungle' visa, so Prof. Karabus continues to remain their captive

Emirates service: The web version differs somewhat from the
actual experience of some travelers, Prof. Cyril Karabus for instance.
The Cape Argus, a South African news source, reports tonight that:
There is yet another last minute scramble before Cape Town oncologist Professor Cyril Karabus can board a plane home – the visa he was issued by United Arab Emirates authorities was incorrectly dated and must be changed... The UAE prison authorities yesterday finally returned Karabus’s passport to him after making him wait for about two weeks following his final acquittal on charges relating to the death of a child patient of his in 2002... Apart from being acquitted in March and then winning an appeal which followed, Karabus also had to wait for his name to be cleared from the UAE’s records. The incorrect dates on the visa was the latest in a string of bungles by administrators in the UAE.
Readers of this blog might recall our mentioning in a previous post ["31-Jan-13: UAE's foreign ministry is "closely following" Prof. Karabus' nightmare"] four and a half months ago how the unelected government of the non-democratic Emirates defended the scandalous manner in which it legally ensnared and imprisoned the distinguished retired paediatric oncologist.

In view of the daily humiliations to which Prof. Karabus is being subjected even now, weeks after the criminal case against him was thrown out twice by the courts, let's recall what the bureaucrats in the service of the owners of the oil-rich statelets said in an official statement that even today remains posted on the website of their foreign ministry [here]:
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is closely following the case of the South African oncologist
03 February 2013 | ...the judicial process in the United Arab Emirates is independently and wholly overseen and managed by the Federal Supreme Court.  The Government of the United Arab Emirates cannot and does not interfere in the independent judicial process... The Ministry of Foreign Affairs understands the difficulties involved for the family of any person who is on trial, especially when a trial is taking place in a country that is not their own. However, it is imperative that the proper judicial process is followed... 
There continues to be almost zero coverage in any of the Emirate news channels of the ongoing ordeal of which Prof. Karabus is a victim. Consequently, there is no reason to expect the sort of thing that a free press might have done if UAE had such a thing - calling the Emirates rulers and their bureaucrats to account. This innocent man's passport ought to have been handed back to him, without any need any his part to go chase it through the inscrutable maze of Emirate government offices, the minute the court threw the charges into the garbage. Instead he has been chasing its return for two weeks.

The people who issued the pompous press release we quoted above ought to have been told to demonstrate  just how "closely" they are "following" the Karabus case by (for instance) ensuring all UAE visas, records, computer entries and every other kind of idiotic formality were immediately removed or issued or fixed or whatever it takes so that he can get out of their territory and go home.

Chronically over-optimistic sections of the South African media are today running stories like "Cyril Karabus heads home", and "Karabus' ordeal finally ends". But the reality is harsher; he will be spending tomorrow chasing a visa with the right dates on it to replace the bungled version he was issued by the UAE today.

One more thing. That same SA news report today mentions in passing that
Yesterday, after Professor Karabus had a fight with them, Emirates Airlines agreed to reinstate the ticket he had from there to Cape Town but could not use at the time of his arrest. [Cape Argus
How appalling that, after all he has been through, Prof. Karabus has had to fight the people at Emirates, the airline that brought him into Dubai and which declined to extend basic courtesies to him as we mentioned here in January.

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