Desperate plea from German detained in UAE at whim of autonomous Sheikh
“I received a call from Dieter Kellouche today”, says Radha Stirling, CEO of Detained in Dubai, who is representing the 42 year old man left to rot in a Sharjah desert jail. “Dieter told me he has not been seen by the German Embassy in more than a year and that he doesn’t know why. It hasn’t been due to covid restrictions as he knows the British consulate visited one of their citizens. He feels he has been forgotten and abandoned by his country.
“This is a totally unacceptable situation. Dieter has been held because a Sheikh made some unevidenced allegations against him. He’s been sentenced to life in prison, not because he has committed any crime, but because of the influence that the Sheikh has over the local court system in Sharjah. We see it all the time.
“If someone with power makes an allegation, it is sufficient to cause that person to lose their freedom, forever. In this case, the German Embassy even discouraged Dieter from campaigning for his release. What did they expect? That he would sit quietly in a prison for the rest of his life, for a crime he did not commit? Dieter has been on hunger strike and still, the German Embassy has done nothing. His blankets were taken from the guards, leaving him cold and unable to sleep, and he has been bullied. It’s a frightening system and he is losing hope. He has no legal route to appeal the court’s decision and, even if he did, no court in Sharjah would rule against the Sheikh.
“The German government has a responsibility here to ensure its ally, the UAE, does not feel confident that it can lock up German citizens who have committed absolutely no crime, without sanction. The German foreign minister needs to engage with their counterpart in the UAE in this case. They are already aware that the particular Sheikh involved is a ‘problem’, and the UAE rulers can not allow for this kind of abuse of power to continue.”
“The UAE’s human rights have been under the spotlight with Princess Latifa’s case being at the forefront of international attention. We will be taking Dieter’s case to the United Nations in Geneva but frankly, the German government holds the power to push for his release. Other countries have been much more active in helping their citizens and it’s time that Germany followed suit.”