British and American courts have been asked to rule on the treatment of two men held in the UAE as pawns by an ambitious ruler who has, last month, used “forced confessions obtained by torture”, in ‘quid pro quo’ attempts to seize funds that don’t belong to him.
Dechert lawyers have been sued by two lawyers for human rights violations, forced confessions and torture. Last week, it was revealed that these “confessions” obtained by force, have now been submitted as “evidence” to seize money from a Swiss national through the Bangladesh courts where he has business interests.
Dr Khater Massaad, former advisor to the ruler of Ras Al Khaimah (RAK), Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, is another target for the tiny northern emirate. The oil-dry emirate needs to make money elsewhere, through enterprise, manufacturing, corruption, extortion and theft of foreign investment. The dangerous “wild west of the UAE” extorts and steals funds under threat of imprisonment or worse. “When a target is outside of the country, more creativity is needed”, explains Radha Stirling, CEO of Detained in Dubai and Due Process International, who is representing a number of victims of the regime.
“Swiss national Khater Massaad, is seen as a ‘cash cow’ by the Sheikh. Saud’s claim was thrown out by the Saudi courts, dismissed for a lack of merit and evidence and Saud’s repeated Interpol red notices were dismissed. As a last resort, Saud decided to pursue Dr Massaad’s assets in Bangladesh using the forced confession of Jordanian lawyer, Karam Al Sadeq. Sadeq has sued Dechert lawyers in the UK for their egregious human rights violations against him in obtaining his forced confession.
“It’s outrageous that Sheikh Saud is holding innocent men in his personal prisons and using international law firms like Dechert to force confessions from them, then use those confessions to seize funds that simply do not belong to him. No wonder Director Neil Gerrard resigned.
“The UAE must be reminded that all of emirates make up the United Arab Emirates, and Sheikh Saud’s lust for other people’s money have resulted in the torture and unfair detention of a number of foreign nationals.
“The detainees are pursuing legal actions while in custody, placing them at enormous risk of retaliation, but they have already suffered the gravest inhumane treatment at the hands of the ruler and his men and they were left with no other option.
“The situation in Ras Al Khaimah needs diplomatic intervention. We have men being held and tortured for their false confessions to be used in foreign civil cases to steal money for the emirate. How can any civilised country support tourism, trade, security and investment from a country whose human rights abuses against foreigners are being pursued vigorously through courts and through the United Nations?”
Radha Stirling founded Detained in Dubai in 2008 and has since helped and advised more than 15,000 foreign nationals facing trouble in the UAE. Stirling is an expert witness, civil and criminal justice specialist, legislative, investment risk, business and policy advisor to the public and private sectors, speaker and host of the Gulf in Justice Podcast, covering the region in depth.