Leicester Man Held In Dubai For Raising Middle Finger

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Jamil Ahmed Mukadam, who raised his middle finger at another driver in Dubai, could face jail after he was arrested for “offensive behaviour”.

Mr Mukadam said he reacted “in frustration”, raising his middle finger when a driver cut him off in traffic.

The incident occurred in February but Mr Mukadam, from Leicester, was arrested on the 10th September when he returned to the city for a second holiday.

Authorities have confiscated his passport and have told him that he must remain in Dubai awaiting a court hearing.

A Foreign Office spokesman said, “We are assisting a British man who was detained in Dubai and remain in contact with the local authorities.”

The 23-year-old said he had no idea he had a case against him when he returned to Dubai.

“I am worried about running out of money before I even get to court,” he said.

“No-one plans to spend two months, or more, in hotels in Dubai.”

Mr Mukadam, who works in IT for the British government, is also being supported by Detained in Dubai, an organisation formed “to assist people who have become victims of injustice in the United Arab Emirates”.

The organization’s chief executive, Radha Sterling, said the country was a common place for British citizens to be arrested, often unaware of the country’s laws.

“This, in my opinion, is because the country presents itself as very modern and it seems that most behaviour that contradicts the law, is actually ignored,” she said.

“It lulls unsuspecting visitors into a false sense of security that this behaviour is tolerated.

“However, when a finger is pointed at such behaviour, the wrath of the legal system is severe and can warrant lengthy prison sentences.”

Mr Mukadam has already been charged and is waiting for a court hearing, which is expected to take four to six weeks, according to Ms Stirling.

She said that he will be asked by the court whether he pleads guilty and then receive his judgment approximately three days later.

Mr Mukadam is unaware as to the source of the complaint.

“If the complainant is Emirati or an influential person, the hearings are likely to be prejudiced against the defendant and he is more likely to be found guilty,” said Ms Stirling.

“If he were to contest the complaint, he could end up doing a disservice to himself.

“If found guilty, he may receive a longer sentence.”

The length of the potential prison sentence is unclear, and Mr Mukadam could be fined instead.

“The sentence appears discretionary and provides for imprisonment,” added Ms Stirling.

“Local lawyers have said not less than six months but we have seen other cases receiving lesser sentences.”

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