Amnesty International questioned Sunday’s decision by a court in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to acquit a sheikh and member of Abu Dhabi’s ruling family who was charged with causing the assault and rape of a man in 2004.
Sheikh Issa bin Zayed al-Nahyan, was acquitted by a court in Al-‘Ain of endangering the life, “causing bodily harm and rape” of Mohammad Shah Poor, an Afghan businessman with whom he had a dispute.
“We were not in court and so cannot be certain as to the judge’s reasoning, but this does appear to be a very questionable verdict”, said Malcolm Smart, Director of Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa programme.
“It will do little to dispel concern that the sheikh’s position as a member of Abu Dhabi’s ruling family may have been the decisive factor in ensuring his acquittal, especially as it took the authorities several years even to bring the prosecution.”
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