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Mon 9 Sep 2013 10:05 AM

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Dubai men on hunger strike over bounced cheques

Twelve men protest continued incarceration for debt crimes committed during financial crisis

Dubai men on hunger strike over bounced cheques

Twelve businessmen have gone on hunger strike in a Dubai jail in protest of their continued detention for writing cheques that bounced during the global financial crisis, the Financial Times reported.

According to the newspaper, the men – who come from India, Pakistan and elsewhere in the Gulf – have written to public prosecutors in the emirate to complain that their sentences were handed down in “bad faith” and down to improper application of the law.

The newspaper said that the men, who are believed to have been incarcerated for a number of years, are due to be joined by others in the coming days.

The Financial Times said that about 500 expatriates remain in Dubai jails for crimes such as failing to honour cheques. A presidential decree last year ended the jailing of UAE citizens for such crimes, with about 1,000 subsequently being released from prisons across the Gulf state.

“The Emiratis have gone home, but we are still stuck here,” one of the inmates told the newspaper. “We just ask that we can get out and start to recover the receivables we have so we can pay back our debts.”

Last year, British property developer Safi Qurashi went on hunger strike for seven weeks in a Dubai prison after he was accused of bouncing three security cheques. He spent more than two years in jail before being cleared of all charges.

john 6 years ago

1 rule for emiraties, another for everyone else...

Cjd dello 6 years ago

SHOCKING - HOW CAN THE UAE ALLOW THIS IN THE CURRENT CLIMATE - WHAT ABOUT DUBAI WORLD AND ALL OTHER GOVERNMENT COMPANIES THAT ARE BILLIONS IN DEBT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

cordner 6 years ago

How this could happen in such a beautiful place like the UAE. The law must be equal for Emiratis and non Emiratis. Bounced cheques should not be a criminal crime. In many cases the judge does not ask the reason for the bounced cheques, Just, did you sign this cheque. If you say yes. They give you one year jail time. This is the 21th century.

Shiv 6 years ago

Humanity is helping someone get back to life just as it could be you in that situation . Pls do something about such inequalities dubai govt.

cordner 6 years ago

how come this news are not put in the media like gulfnews, CNN and the National ?

cordner 6 years ago

John, So it appears but Islam does not allow this. There should be one law for everyone. Emiratis and expats should be treated equally under the law in an Islamic country.

Shahid Bukhari 6 years ago

Law should be the same for all. judges must ask for the reason behind. In these cases Human trafficking criminals persons are using poor and Innocent peoples which are coming from Pakistan, India, Bangladesh or other countries. none of any help them or to know real film behind. my request to Government, lawyer communities and NGOs to come forward and release these poor prisoners and send them back.

Chatelmaster 5 years ago

The criminalization of the financial unsolvable situation creates 2 solutions: Either the financial unsolvable person goes to jail or he runs away. On both case the creditor will lose the money. UAE/Gulf laws have to be adapted to the world standards and allow the company/person in difficult financial situation to settle with his creditors. It would avoid ruining an active business and the life of the defaulter. I am not even mentioning the people nailed by guarantee checks fraudulently deposited for trying to extort money from the person who signed it.