If you’re thinking about visiting Dubai in the near future, think twice; the Head of Technology at Endemol UK has been detained without charge, falsely accused of drug possession:
According to friends, [31-year-old Cat] Le-Huy’s decision to travel to Dubai came about after visiting the official tourist website of Dubai’s Department of Tourism & Commerce Marketing (DTMC). The website is part of a larger campaign aimed at Western tourists and promotes Dubai as a safe and modern holiday destination…
The government-created DTMC website, which advertises itself as an all-in-one tourist resource, fails to mention any of the new, strict laws that ensnare Western travelers in Dubai’s prisons daily. One Dubai law states that trace amounts of drugs used before coming to Dubai in the traveler’s system count as “drug possession,” a crime punished with a four-year jail sentence. This includes legal, prescribed drugs for health conditions (examples include codeine and similar narcotic-like drugs prescribed for pain).
Sign this petition asking that Le-Huy be freed. And expect some serious issues with Dubai in the next year, since Dubai seems eager to let the West know that its citizens are not welcome in the East. I wonder if these recent events are a Western nation’s covert retaliation for the harassment of Westerners?
(Via Warren Ellis)