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To wonder why they don't quietly go on holiday

(15 Posts)
Sadoldbag Mon 10-Feb-14 19:57:08

I am most likely to get flamed for this

Just watching the news about a lady from Dubai who has been charged with kidnapping her son she faces years in jail then deportation to the uk with out her 4 year old son also the nob is seeing her for defamation

Now my thing is knowing these type of countries generally give custody to the dad whatever the situation could they not just play nice tell there other half they are visiting family in the U.K. Then as soon as you touch down file for divorce and residency


Or is it that not legal
oh and can someone tell me why the foreign office won't intervene in these cases

This type of thing I a happening more and more with women who emigrate very sad

Pigeonhouse Mon 10-Feb-14 20:18:06

Well, I'm not flaming you, but you are misunderstanding what I gather are the circumstances of this case. She didn't have access to her own or her son's passport from what I gather - her husband/ex-husband got a travel ban put on her, and her passport was confiscated. So no question of going quietly on holiday.

One of the highly patriarchal oddities of expat life in Dubai is that your residency visa is sponsored by your employer, and then you sponsor in your turn any non-working spouse and child (and domestic help). So the ability to remain in the country for many trailing expat wives is dependent on their husband. It used to be the case when I lived there that a man would receive a text if his wife/child/maid tried to pass through immigration alone.

Sadoldbag Mon 10-Feb-14 20:43:38

Oh thanks pigeonhouse a text gosh I knew it was a bit confusedbut didn't realise it was that strict.

May I ask why the government dose not intervene given the human rights. Issues

LouiseAderyn Tue 11-Feb-14 10:26:40

I really do not understand why people agree to work in those countries. Hell would freeze over before I would agree to my husband working in a country where women have no rights and there is no way I or my dc would step foot in the place.

Pigeonhouse Tue 11-Feb-14 11:02:55

Which government, Sadoldbag? The UAE doesn't really have a government in our sense of the word - it's a supposedly 'benign' dictatorship with a king (who is also the emir of Abu Dhabi) as head of state, and other closely-related members of the 'royal' families sharing out the big government positions.

The UAE government was acting within its rights, appallingly, to confiscate this woman's passport. The authorities use travel bans and deportation as a way of controlling the population. The FO here and the embassy staff can try to lobby to have her case looked at, but they can't interfere in the judicial processes of another country. It's a horrible situation, and sadly not an uncommon one.

It's not just women, Louise - it's migrant workers, domestic workers, anyone (including citizens) expressing dissent, etc. Google 'Human Rights Watch UAE'.

LouiseAderyn Tue 11-Feb-14 11:29:02

Sorry pigeon. Yes I do know it's migrant workers and domestic staff etc too. My friend has recently come back and her dh is still working there. I don't get how they can shut their eyes to all this and just keep taking the money!

Mim78 Tue 11-Feb-14 12:06:00

I would not go there either!

Feel terrible for the woman though.

NatashaBee Tue 11-Feb-14 12:10:14

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

meditrina Tue 11-Feb-14 12:13:29

The FCO can only ensure that British nationals are treated properly in accordance with the laws of the country they are in, and can help with things like finding English speaking lawyers or trustworthy interpreters. They cannot overturn the laws of the country or demand that British nationals be exempt from them.

Pigeonhouse Tue 11-Feb-14 12:16:25

Well, Dubai gets debated about on Mn not infrequently, and there are always vociferous Dubai residents and people who go there on holidays who counter-attack and say 'Do you check all the human rights situations, including the treatment of women and migrant workers, everywhere you go on holiday? Do you check before you buy a cheap garment that it isn't sweatshop produced?' etc'.

I would have thought the trickle of media stories about the treatment of foreign rape victims would factor more in people's decisions whether or not to holiday there, but the fact that it doesn't says a lot for Dubai's overseas PR. That or 'But bad things happen to people in other places too'.

Pigeonhouse Tue 11-Feb-14 12:18:28

Meditrina, right. I knew someone who worked at an embassy (not UK) in the UAE and other than what you've already listed, their powers are frighteningly limited.

Often, the best that can be hoped for is obtaining a royal pardon for Eid or suchlike.

oranges Tue 11-Feb-14 12:45:18

The key issue here is that after she suffered DV, UK consulate advised her to flee with her son to a women's refuge, but they didn't realise that the refuge was legally obliged to inform her husband where she was, so he found them. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/british-mother-afsana-lachaux-faces-jail-in-dubai-after-husband-claims-she-kidnapped-their-son-9084171.html

meditrina Tue 11-Feb-14 12:57:19

What should the advice have been? Go back? Or go on the run?

If refuges in UAE are obliged by law to disclose, then there is nothing whatsoever FCO can do about that. The BBC article says that they have been providing consular assistance since 2011, but doesn't provide details (which are probably personal/confidential).

oranges Tue 11-Feb-14 13:04:38

I think that they could at least have made her aware that the refuge had to notify her husband, so that she could then make a fully informed decision.

1975pja Tue 11-Feb-14 14:04:52

If you're interested in this case there is more info on freeafsana.com They are running a petition so please sign that to show your support. She just wants a fair trial.

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