Gay Briton fights extradition to Dubai

London, Dec 21 (IANS) A gay man is resisting extradition to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), where homosexuality is a crime, because he fears he could be tortured and punished disproportionately, the media reported on Monday.

The unusual case of Michael Halliday, 32, from the Midlands, who faces a theft charge in Dubai, is due to be decided by Westminster magistrates court this week.

“I’m extremely worried. If I was sent back I don’t believe I could defend myself in court or have a fair trial. The fact that I’m openly gay would mean that there would be prejudice against me,” Halliday told The Guardian.

“If I was found guilty then I’m worried they would add on extra charges and increase my sentence. The punishment (for being gay) is death in the UAE and 10 years in Dubai.”

The theft allegation relates to money said to have disappeared from a safe at a department store where Halliday formerly worked as an operations manager.

The formal request for his extradition was made by the UAE in June 2014.

He has denied the allegations. He said CCTV footage supported his case, and witness statements from two employees who had given evidence against him contained factual errors.

Halliday’s sexuality, referred to in legal submissions, “is now well known to both the authorities in Dubai and his former colleagues in Dubai”, according to court documents.

Over the past five years, there have been 43 cases of complaints by British nationals of torture or mistreatment within the UAE justice system.

Of those, 37 related to British nationals detained in Dubai and 19 of them alleged they had suffered physical beatings.

2 Comments

  1. Playing the LGBT card is the safest way to avoid extradition from a Western country to a Middle Eastern country. Openly gay? My foot. Did he declare he was openly gay when he had migrated to Dubai for employment i.e. before committing the crime? Why being gay an issue now all of a sudden but not before? No country would make an extradition request if it was a silly case, as the resources required to justify the case in the extraditing country are extremely high.

    My point is this – If an Indian was in his position of being requested for extradition for an allegedly committed crime, he would have not had such privileges. Only because he is a Briton he tries to get away with the help of the Western media. It has happened over and over again where white-skinned criminals are always spared in the Middle East from punishment.

  2. Imagine some Indian fighting extradition to West fearing racism that is very common in majority-white communities!! You think he or she would get any special hearing? Yea, right!!!!

    White Europeans have an arrogance and sense of entitlement especially when dealing with non-white societies. You don’t have to go too far – Take a look at those Italian marines who shot and killed out fishermen. Remember, how they tried to abuse our system? If I am right, they are still being treated like business executives in India!!! Same thing goes for Doddanna’s laughablle visa ban on Pradhaana Sevaka which later backfired when he won general elections in a tsunaami!! The same doddanna had to invite and treat him with respect that he deserved all these years!!

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