Call to avoid Arab at­tire af­ter US ar­rest

The Myanmar Times - - World -

THE United Arab Emi­rates sum­moned a se­nior US diplo­mat on July 3 to protest the “abu­sive treat­ment” of a UAE ci­ti­zen as it ad­vised cit­i­zens to avoid wear­ing na­tional at­tire abroad.

The for­eign min­istry ex­pressed “dis­con­tent” to US em­bassy deputy chief of mis­sion Ethan Goldrich and de­manded clar­i­fi­ca­tions over the de­ten­tion of an Emi­rati busi­ness­man sus­pected of be­ing a ji­hadist.

The 41-year-old, vis­it­ing the United States for med­i­cal treat­ment, was wear­ing a white robe and Arab head­dress on June 30 when he was ar­rested at a ho­tel in Cleve­land, Ohio, af­ter an em­ployee sus­pected he had pledged al­le­giance to the Is­lamic State (IS) group, ap­par­ently in a phone call.

The for­eign min­istry said it ex­pressed “dis­con­tent over the abu­sive treat­ment by the Ohio po­lice of a UAE ci­ti­zen” as well as the post­ing of a video show­ing his ar­rest, which con­tained “defama­tion of the UAE na­tional”.

“The UAE cares for the safety of its cit­i­zens and, there­fore, de­mands clar­i­fi­ca­tions about this in­ci­dent,” it said in a state­ment car­ried by WAM state news agency.

Mr Goldrich “apol­o­gised” for the in­ci­dent, pledg­ing to get clar­i­fi­ca­tions from au­thor­i­ties in the state of Ohio, WAM said.

A video of the in­ci­dent, posted on Youtube, shows sev­eral po­lice armed with ri­fles take down Ahmed al-Men­hali, and then hand­cuff and search him.

“They were bru­tal with me. They pressed force­fully on my back. I had sev­eral in­juries and bled from the force­ful na­ture of their ar­rest,” Mr Men­hali said.

The Emi­rati for­eign min­istry, in a state­ment posted on Twit­ter, urged cit­i­zens “not to wear the na­tional dress dur­ing their travel, es­pe­cially in pub­lic ar­eas, to en­sure their own safety”.

Af­ter con­firm­ing that Mr Men­hali posed no dan­ger, the po­lice of­fi­cers let go of the Emi­rati man, who said he col­lapsed and needed treat­ment in hos­pi­tal.

Mr Men­hali had been in the United States since April for treat­ment af­ter a brain stroke suf­fered last year, said Emarat Al-Youm, an­other UAE news­pa­per.

Anti-Mus­lim in­ci­dents have spiked in the US on the back of deadly IS at­tacks in the West that prompted pre­sump­tive Repub­li­can pres­i­den­tial nom­i­nee Don­ald Trump to call for a tem­po­rary ban on Mus­lims en­ter­ing the coun­try. –

Photo: AFP

UAE men wear in tra­di­tional dress in Dubai.

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