An ongoing case against a retired South African cancer specialist has prompted the World Medical Association (WMA) to issue a warning to all of its members about the “risks” of working in the UAE.
Professor Cyril Karabus, a paedriatic oncologist, was arrested in August last year as he transited through the country and charged with the death of a child under his care in 2002. Although he was acquitted last month of manslaughter and forgery, he is still on bail pending an appeal.
The WMA is an independent federation, representing the interests of 102 national medical associations around the world.
At the agency’s council meeting in Bali, delegates passed a resolution stating that Karabus “is believed to have been treated in a manner which fails to meet international fair trial standards and he should be allowed to return home immediately”.
The WMA said it would “publish an advisory notice in the World Medical Journal and on the WMA website advising doctors thinking of working in the UAE to note the working conditions and the legal risks of employment there”.
It will also publish an advisory notice in the World Medical Journal, and encourage member associations to print similar notices in their own publications.
“The expert medical panel appointed by the court to advise it on whether there was any evidence against Professor Karabus, advised the judge that there was no evidence to support the case. The judge dismissed all charges and a ruling of not guilty was given,” said Cecil Wilson, president of the WMA, in a statement.
“The prosecutors have appealed the court's ruling. This means that Professor Karabus has to remain in the United Arab Emirates indefinitely. We regard this with the gravest concern and are appealing to the UAE authorities to allow Professor Karabus to return home.”
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