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Mon 15 Dec 2014 10:40 AM

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Swedish male model jailed in Dubai on drugs charge launches online campaign

Farzan Athari, who is serving 10 yrs for possessing cocaine, has released a song on Youtube

Swedish male model jailed in Dubai on drugs charge launches online campaign

A Swedish male model and TV personality who was sentenced to 10 years in jail in Dubai for possessing cocaine, has launched an online campaign appealing for his sentence to be reduced.

Farzan Athari, a 29-year-old Swedish-Iranian, was originally sentenced to life in jail after he was arrested outside his home in Dubai’s Burj Khalifa on May 14, 2013 and found in possession of 21 grams of cocaine in 11 plastic pouches. His sentence was reduced to 10 years upon appeal, claiming the illegal drug was for personal use and was not for resale purposes.

Athari has since launched an online campaign calling for his release and has issued a song entitled ‘Save My Life’. Recording while in prison in Dubai and directed towards Dubai’s ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the video has so far received over 25,000 views on Youtube.

Campaigners have launched a petition calling for his sentence to be reviewed. “I am not a promoter or dealer of any illegal substance… You’re always responsible for your actions. I agree, and I admit that it was the biggest mistake of my life to put myself in a situation like this and to get fooled by a so-called ‘friend’,” he said in a letter published online.

In court, an Emirati police officer testified that an informant had given them a tip-off that Athari possessed drugs and was searching for a buyer.

“Drugs prosecutors authorised us on May 14 to arrest the defendant and search his residence. An informant alerted us that the defendant was present in front of a hotel in Bur Dubai… an anti-narcotics squad headed to the location and busted the suspect. We seized the cocaine in his pocket. During confrontation, the suspect admitted that he possessed the drugs for promotional purposes,” the police lieutenant testified.

Arabian Business digital magazine: read the latest edition online

omar is back 5 years ago

Give me a break. Everybody wants to come to UAE and live the rich and famous experience. I get contacted by people claiming all sorts of things either women or men from all parts of the world. Well, UAE is like any other country in the world!! I myself come from a very challenging place and lived in another one that is even more challenging. I said to both them endless bye bye and live here in UAE peacefully working hard to sustain the high standard of living of UAE. Whoever doesn't like UAE, he can leave!! Is it so hard to say it - As Arabian Business wrote back in 2009, don't moan look closer to home!!! Go back to your home that you are proud of!!!Each country has its own regulations and this is the case of UAE.

ali 5 years ago

I am in total agreement with the the local law of UAE, Drugs ruins lives and promoter or personal users or foot soldiers ( taking drugs from one place to another ). UAE is an amazing place where slight crime is taken seriously which is why ladies are so free to walk around even at 2am. I love Dubai the freedom and life style it gives me which I will never get it in London.

So stop singing a song about your life and pay the price of your crime, he should be made an example of, regardless of his nationality or occupation. Law is same for all and cousin of NONE.

GET IT !!!!!!!!!

Non-Muslim 5 years ago

If you go to ANY country on this globe, you must accept that you are subject to local law - and if that local law says it's illegal to carry/own/use/buy/sell drugs, then you better respect this. If not, you must be prepared to carry the burden if you get caught.
This is valid for ANY citizen in ANY country. If you get caight - tough luck.
Unfortunately, some people still seem to believe, again in ANY country, that local law does not apply on him/her. If a foreign citizen is not prepared, not willing to follow local law of his guest country, stay home!
Again: this is valid for ANY citizen in ANY country.

Emirati Cowboy 5 years ago

Dubai is an Emirate with the rule of law. Just because you are a pretty boy and a Swedish citizen does not mean you are above the law or immune from it.
Can't wait for this guy to be deported after serving his full sentence of 10 years at the Government of Dubai's expense!

HHH 5 years ago

He has obviously learnt a harsh lesson. And since he hasn't caused direct harm to anyone but himself (compared to rapists, murderers, thieves, etc), perhaps the courts can consider a more lenient sentence... Ten years is a very long time. Even God gives second chances. Anyway, I have the utmost respect for Dubai Police and trust they will handle this fairly.

Andrew Baines 5 years ago

this guy is really stupid, not pity and no support for him at all!

Doug 5 years ago

He's just lucky he's had his sentence reduced already. 21g of coke in lots of little bags? Sounds like a dealer to me - this wasn't 'personal' use .

Simon 5 years ago

I don't really know what this guy is looking for. His life sentence has already been reduced to 10yrs. He willingly broke the law. He has no defence.

Its all very well being sorry after the event but its not as if he didn't know what he was doing. Everyone knows Dubai is as strict as Bali and Thailand for carrying drugs.

He knew it but did it anyway. Its not as if he got caught doing something the majority would think trivial and got a harsh undeserving sentence as a result, no, he got caught with illegal drugs...illegal across half the world, if not more.

His issue is...he got caught

Paolo C 5 years ago

He deserves a noble price for stupidity. Clearly walking around with 11 pouches of cocaine cannot be of personal use. I wish they would apply such laws in Europe and deport the dealers.

Lio 5 years ago

The guy had 21g of cocaine for distribution , to sell to people, that is not direct harm?