UAE police nabs whistleblower of brutality

Sat Jul 20, 2013 14:18:39

Police in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have arrested a man who filmed an incident in which a government official attacked an Indian van driver.

The man has been arrested for sharing footage of the crime, after his video was posted on YouTube and went viral, prompting anger both inside and outside the country.

The official who carried out the attack has also been arrested. However, the victim of the assault has not filed a complaint.

The Dubai police force explained on its Twitter feed that the man who filmed the attack was arrested "because he shared it".

"If a crime was video recorded, the recorded material has to go privately to the police and not shared over internet," another tweet read.

The clip shows the official angrily taking off his agal - the rope used to keep the traditional Arab head dress in place - and repeatedly hitting the driver with it. The police officer is also seen punching the driver.

Police have quoted the attacker as saying that the van driver had clipped his four-wheel drive vehicle and drove off, adding that he was verbally abusive when eventually stopped.

Many people in the UAE have denounced the attacker's actions as shameful, especially during the holy month of Ramadan.

"The overwhelming clamor for the attacker to be brought to justice shows that no-one is too important to avoid being brought to account," said The National, a government-owned English daily newspaper, in an editorial.

However, the police and public prosecutor have stressed that everyone in the country is equal before the law.

According to the UAE's penal code, if convicted of assault, the attacker could be jailed for up to one year and fined 10,000 dirham (£1,795).

The UAE claims it tries to improve conditions for foreign laborers, who are mostly from South Asian countries, after repeatedly coming under fire by rights groups in recent years.


string(336) "[{"id":"1477997","sort":"3055593","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2013/05/26/alalam_635051503181495334_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"HRW asks UAE not to deport migrant workers"} ,{"id":"1488840","sort":"3055594","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2013/06/28/alalam_635080344032962734_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"Detainees brutally tortured in UAE: Amnesty"} ]"