Thursday, May 09, 2013

9-May-13: No reason to expect Prof. Karabus, cleared of all charges, to be free and back home. This UAE news source says he's busy "finalising"

Let Prof. Karabus on the plane. It's more than
enough already.
The ongoing lesson in what the people who run those oil-drenched autocratic sheikhdoms can do to innocent people continues.

This is from a United Arab Emirates newspaper, The National. Though the time now is 9:00 pm Thursday in Abu Dhabi, the item is datelined tomorrow, Friday. Why? They don't provide too many answers in that part of the world.
UAE prosecutors will not further appeal Cyril Karabus acquittal | Haneen Dajani | The National | May 10, 2013 | ABU DHABI // Prosecutors will not appeal further against the acquittal of South African doctor Cyril Karabus. Two weeks ago the Appeals Court upheld a Criminal Court decision clearing Dr Karabus of the manslaughter of a three-year-old leukaemia patient who died in 2002. Prosecutors had 30 days to decide whether they would appeal again but decided against it, a judicial source said. The source said that the professor remains in the country as he is finalising procedures with the Ministry of Interior. He and his lawyers could not be reached for comment. Sarah Adel died at Sheikh Khalifa Medical Centre in 2002. A year later, after the expatriate doctor had left the country, Dr Karabus was found guilty in absentia of manslaughter. Prosecutors claimed he had failed to give the girl a vital blood transfusion, and later covered up his mistake by forging a medical report. He was cleared of both of these charges in a retrial by the Criminal Court and subsequent appeal at the Appeals Court following his arrest in August last year. Dr Karabus was arrested after landing at Dubai International Airport while in transit to South Africa, after attending his son's wedding in Canada.
An interesting journalistic turn of phrase, no?: "he is finalising procedures with the Ministry of Interior".

In reality, Prof. Karabus' rights have been under systematic and cynical abuse from the start of his scandalous treatment at the hands of officials in the thoroughly non-democratic Dubai  and Abu Dhabi from the time of his seizure at Dubai airport in August until today.

We have been closely following (see these posts) the outrageous things that have been done to Prof. Karabus since August. Reports these past two weeks in the South Africa media (for instance "Lack of passport stamp stalls Karabus' freedom" on May 6; "Karabus might get passport at weekend" on May 2; "Karabus passport wait not over" on April 30) describe how the 78 year-old retired paediatric oncologist  has been pathetically left to beseech the UAE authorities to hand back to him the passport they imperiously seized nine months ago when the Kafaesque nightmare to which he has been subjected began.

We're not connected to South Africa in any particular way. But we wish someone there would take a look at our post of a week ago and take the necessary steps: "2-May-13: The scandalous abuse of Prof. Karabus must end today. A practical suggestion for how"...
We have an uninvited suggestion. In view of the thoroughly disgraceful - we would say scandalous - way he has been treated from the outset by the authorities in the UAE, the government of South Africa should immediately, today, appoint Prof. Cyril Karabus as one of its diplomatic representatives. It should then immediately, today, issue him with a diplomatic passport, deliver it to him by courier or via the numerous South African consular officials posted in the UAE, and have a cluster of determined senior diplomatic representatives in the UAE accompany him to the Emirates/Qantas check in counter at Dubai airport, where a complementary upgrade to first class should be waiting for him. And if making him a diplomat causes problems, then just issue him with a fresh SA passport, but let it be today. And if the flights to South Africa are full, then just fly him out of that place to anywhere. May we suggest some of our South African readers adopt this and pass it along to the people who can make it happen today? Here are some contact details... [more]
At this point, the failure of Prof. Karabus' government to take meaningfully active steps on his behalf is beyond comprehension.

UPDATE 11:00 pm Thursday: A South African news report published tonight, "Government calls for Karabus’s return", quotes the following close-to-but-not-quite-forthright contribution by an official spokesperson for SA's Department of International Relations:
"It is time to allow South African doctor Cyril Karabus to return home from Abu Dhabi... Whilst respecting the sovereignty of the UAE... the South African government believes that the matter must be brought to a speedy conclusion, so that the professor can finally be reunited with his family...” [SAPA]
Without intending to cast aspersions on any innocent parties, what precisely is it about the conduct of the undemocratic, thoroughly autocratic UAE in this sordid affair that justifies their sovereignty being respected? Even by reference to their own legal system, the UAE's ruling elite have for months contemptuously trampled all over Prof. Karabus' human and legal rights, and are continuing to do so at this moment.


Anonymous said...

Fat lot of good that did! I called the Duty officer at the South African Embassy in Dubai on the number you suggested. An Afrikaans woman answered. I requested that they issue him with a New South African passport so he could leave in the morning. She asked me "and who are you?" I replied, "A concerned South African Citizen" there as a very pregnant silence. Then she told me I must call the South African Government passport office in Pretoria in the morning. I replied that was not acceptible. She made a comment in Afrikaans, I speak fluent afrikaans - they are ANTISEMITIC and have no intention of helping him! not to mention inefficient. I told her she as a stupid pos as she hung up on me!

This Ongoing War said...

Sounds to us like the sort of first-person experience that the South African media ought to be hearing about.

Anonymous said...

That is exactly the shoddy customer service that we put up with.

This Ongoing War said...

Shoddy? Perhaps you are undervaluing their work. Why, look at the passions and professionalism they summon up in their latest iteration of their public statement. This version was posted Friday morning around 11 am:

The South African Government takes note of the latest developments surrounding the return of Professor Cyril Karabus's passport after being found not guilty twice by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) lower court and appeal court for manslaughter in connection with the death of a three-year old cancer patient more than ten years ago. Professor Karabus, an emeritus Professor at the University of Cape Town and specialist paedriatic oncologist, was arrested whilst in transit through Dubai in August 2012. It has been confirmed that Abu Dhabi prison authorities are in possession of Professor Karabus's passport and must first clear his name from a database before his passport can be returned. Prof Karabus's application to have his passport released is currently being processed. The South African Embassy in Abu Dhabi continues to render consular assistance to Professor Karabus and his family and is communicating with the UAE authorities to expedite the matter. The South African Government thanks the UAE authorities for prioritising Prof Karabus's application to have his passport released. Whilst respecting the sovereignty of the UAE including its legal and administrative processes, the South African Government believes that the matter must be brought to a speedy conclusion so that the Professor can finally be reunited with his family.


Anonymous said...

Its more complicated than that . I feel for the Prof and the injustice which has occurred but even if they issue a new passport, the UAE will not let him leave without the OLD one. That's just their dumb rules and S.A. can't help. Being abusive to the staff at the embassy does not help anything and your labelling them as "anti-Semitic" without evidence is just paranoia.

Pearson said...

The South African Government is too busy to assist Karabus.
They are busy organising a wedding for their friends, the Guptas.

south africa news online said...

It was great reading this article and knowing about the returning of professor Cyril Karabus. And specially, it is a great help by your update also Pearson.