A British tourist, from Leister, faced jailed for “offensive behavior” in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, after he flipped off another driver who had cut him off on the road.
Jamil Mukadam was detained in Dubai for five weeks in September and there’s more to the story. The 23-year-old, a UK government employee, had acted in frustration when another driver was tailgating him. He was also fired from his Government job after his bosses told him he was recently placed on the Interpol’s watch list.
Instead of giving the IT worker some time to remove his name from the list, his department suspended him.
“'If I had been anyone else, I'd never have known I was on Interpol's watch list. It's only because I work for the Government that I was able to be informed,” he explained.
“God knows why the UAE wanted to list me with Interpol, but it can't have been for any pleasant reason,” he lamented.
Mukadam was in a hired car in Dubai when the incident took place; he gave the rude hand gesture to the other driver because he was tailgating him in the traffic and started flashing lights. He responded in an aggravated state and “thought nothing more of it.”
“It's the kind of thing that happens in England all the time. You don't go to jail for it,” he told the Sun.
“When I came back last week for a holiday with my wife I went through passport control in Dubai and when they took a scan it started beeping loudly. Within seconds I was surrounded by police and taken off to jail.”
Radha Stirling, CEO of nonprofit organization, “Detained in Dubai,” said power abuse of Interpol has been a long standing tactic of the UAE, one of Interpol's largest voluntary cash contributors.
“We have alerted the UAE government of the existence of the Interpol notice and requested they investigate,” said Sterling.
“So far, we have not received a response. Interpol allow themselves at least nine months to review notices and Jamil stands to permanently lose his employment if it is not resolved within three months.”
Such abuse of power by locals against foreigners in Dubai isn’t new. Just recently, another British tourist made headlines for getting in a feud over $2 fare with a taxi driver. The state-owned taxi driver lied and as a result the Briton had to stay in Dubai for two years.
In Dubai, rude gestures, including middle finger emojis can land a person in a jail.
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