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September 16, 2014 / 21 Elul, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘dubai’

US Reopens Consulates in Israel, 19 in Mideast Remain Closed

Monday, August 5th, 2013

United States diplomatic missions in Israel reopened Monday after a day-long closure due to what was deemed a credible Al-Qaeda threat, but the State Department extended the closure of 19 other diplomatic missions in the Middle East through Aug. 10 “out of an abundance of caution.”

“This is not an indication of a new threat stream, merely an indication of our commitment to exercise caution and take appropriate steps to protect our employees including local employees and visitors to our facilities,” said the statement issued by State Dept. spokesman Jen Psaki.

Diplomatic posts in Abu Dhabi, Amman, Cairo, Riyadh, Dhahran, Jeddah, Doha, Dubai, Kuwait, Manama, Muscat, Sanaa, Tripoli, Antananarivo, Bujumbura, Djibouti, Khartoum, Kigali, and Port Louis will remain closed this week.

The U.S. State Department on Aug. 3 issued a global travel alert for American citizens. The alert warned of possible terror attacks by al Qaeda operatives and affiliated terror groups from Sunday through the end of August.

Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), the top Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee, in an interview Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press” said the electronic chatter among terror suspects about a possible attack was “very reminiscent of what we saw pre-9/11.”

Jewish Doctor Acquitted but Hasn’t Left UAE

Thursday, April 4th, 2013

South African newspapers have been reporting for some days that Prof. Cyril Karabus, 77, whose involuntary detention by the people who run the United Arab Emirates has been going on now for seven months in defiance of basic principles of due process, has been clearedacquittedfound not guiltyfreed to go home and so on. The spokesperson for South Africa’s Department of International Relations and Co-operation broadcast a tweet a week ago exulting (after the earlier intervention of the department’s minister) that “He is free!”

However, South Africa’s Eyewitness News website reports that:

CAPE TOWN – Prosecutors in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have told Professor Cyril Karabus’ legal team they intend appealing the decision to find him not guilty of manslaughter. Last week, an Abu Dhabi court found the elderly professor not guilty of manslaughter and forgery. A medical committee cleared the paediatric oncologist of all blame for the death of a young cancer patient he treated there more than a decade ago. The latest development means Karabus will remain in the UAE indefinitely

We have not yet seen any reports originating in the UAE that confirm this, but we will keep looking. And if there is anyone out there still thinking the man’s own government is willing to do what ought to be done, think again:

“Professor Cyril Karabus has no choice but to submit to the UAE’s legal process, the dept of international relations said on Thursday, after it emerged that he will not be allowed to come back to South Africa yet.” [SAPA]

We have posted numerous times here about the Kafkaesque ordeal that this distinguished medico has suffered at the hands of the authorities in the UAE. For a quick overview, we suggest these: “21-Mar-13: Is Prof Karabus finally being released and going home?“; and “29-Jan-13: UAE “Justice” officials fiddle: The scandalous treatment of Prof. Karabus goes on and on“.

May we suggest again that anyone planning to travel to or through Dubai should carefully review what we posted here yesterday? (See “27-Mar-13: Final call for Australian travelers to London with Qantas“). And for the record, the advice is not meant only for Australians.

This outrageous affair is barely known outside South Africa. It’s time to change that.

Visit This Ongoing War.

Prisoner X Met With Lawyer Before Suicide

Thursday, February 14th, 2013

More details are slowly coming to light in the case of Ben Zygier, also known as Prisoner X.

A day before he committed suicide, Zygier met with outside defense attorney Avigdor Feldman, besides his meetings with his regular attorneys Roi Belcher, Moshe Mazor and Boaz Ben-Tzur. Zygier had been considering his legal options, including the possibility of a plea bargain. What the charges were is still unknown, but Feldman said the charges were very serious.

On Thursday, a Kuwaiti newspaper, Al-Jarida, claimed that Zygier was one of the members of the Mossad team which assassinated Hamas terrorist Mahmoud al-Mabhouh. But after the assassination, for some reason, Zygier contacted the Dubai authorities and gave them detailed information on the assassination. According to the paper, Zygier was then captured by Israel after he went into hiding.

What has also come to light is that Israel is not running “black prisons” as some people claimed, but rather that Zygier was kept out of contact with other prisoners and his identity was secret to those without high enough clearance for security reasons, though all the while Zygier was allowed to meet with his lawyers who were defending him against the charges being brought against him by the state of Israel.

Questions arose as to how Zygier managed to kill himself in a maximum security cell with 24 hour camera surveillance. It turns out that the cell’s bathroom is not monitored, and that is where he hung himself.

Making Kafka Proud in Dubai Court

Sunday, December 16th, 2012

The “Trial,” the nightmarish novel of a man arrested and prosecuted by a remote, inaccessible authority, was written in 1914 and is one of Franz Kafka’s best-known works. A contemporary variant of that nightmare is unfolding in Dubai.

When the Australian airline Qantas recently announced a commercial deal with the Gulf-based airline Emirates, we started researching what this might mean to ordinary travelers to and from Australia. Then we began understanding its possible impact on Jews and Israelis. Then we came across the ongoing, scandalous and worrying story of a gentle, frail and very distinguished South African doctor caught up in the kind of nightmare that can only happen in places where the rule of law and transparency in the imposition of power are a form of inside joke.

While it’s an affair that directly affects just one man, the implications (as we noted in a previous post) of what is being done to Prof. Cyril Karabus are horrific. We feel air travelers planning to fly Qantas at some future time need to know them. The background is in these three earlier posts:

* 26-Sep-12: Dubai, Dubai, Dubai

* 15-Oct-12: Back to Dubai: Australian travelers might want to factor this report into their plans

* 21-Oct-12: Update on Prof. Cyril Karabus and his ongoing nightmare in United Arab Emirates

In brief: Prof. Karabus is a notable and honored professor of medicine with a lifetime of service to the community in his native South Africa. He is now 78. He passed through Dubai airport in the UAE on August 18, 2012 en route to his home after taking part in his son’s wedding in Canada.

In Dubai, he found himself under arrest; he was notified that he had been convicted a decade earlier on charges arising from the death of a three year old child he had treated for terminal cancer. No notification had ever been given to him at the time of the child’s death or since then. He knew nothing about it until he was arrested in transit at Dubai airport.

In court, having been obliged to hire lawyers, he denied any involvement in the charge of killing a young leukaemia patient. The prosecution was unable FOUR times to bring the files on the basis of which the elderly doctor was brought to court. So four times his application for bail could not proceed and he remained incarcerated in an appalling prison. Then finally he was granted bail, but was and still is unable to leave Dubai.

Now this week’s update, via a limited-circulation South African newspaper:

South African paediatric oncologist Prof Cyril Karabus (78), of Claremont, Cape Town, held on bail inAbu Dhabi since August 18 on a 10-year-old charge for which he was tried and found guilty in absentia, relating to the death of a child patient from leukaemia, is again in the ignominious situation of having his trial postponed for a further week, until December 13, due to a “missing folder” with details of the case history. Said his daughter, Sarah: “There is still no sign of the missing folder, and we are certain that it will never be found. If they find it, it will show the world that they convicted him erroneously, so we suspect it will remain ‘missing’. “I am not sure how long this farce will continue – even our lawyers are not sure of that,” she added… At the time of going to press on Wednesday, Michael Bagraim, the attorney representing Karabus, explained: “The trial is destined to reconvene tomorrow, Thursday December 13. At the last hearing, the prosecution, once again requested a postponement of a further month due to the fact that they were still unable to find the paperwork and the necessary hospital file. “Prof Karabus did address the judge by stating that he thought the request was an insult to the court and a waste of the country’s money. The judge tended to agree with this statement, and addressed the prosecution harshly about the continual postponements. “The judge then said that he would only agree to a seven-day postponement and he wanted a full explanation from the prosecution as to why they wanted to continue prosecuting without any paperwork. We are feeling quite hopeful about the appearance tomorrow, but obviously we are in the court’s hands. “There was a medical scare at the last hearing as Prof Karabus did indicate chest pains in the middle of the trial. He now appears to be alright, but certainly is very frail. We have hope in that even the newspapers in the UAE are indicating that Prof Karabus might not be guilty,” said Bagraim.

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