If there is one thing we learnt with certainty by the conclusion of the year, it is that travelling to a country where Sharia law is the rule of the land can be exceptionally risky for anyone of European descent or at least anyone travelling from the European continent. Unfortunately, this includes our fellow Britons.
In the past few months, there have been at least three striking cases of British citizens withheld as detainees in nations where Sharia law is applied. The tragedy suffered by British journalist Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, 40, which everyone has read about in The Times or the Daily Telegraph, is only one of the many cases of British citizens being held as political prisoners in foreign lands. Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who has worked for several media organisations in Britain, has been incoherently and unjustly accused of “attempting to topple the Iranian regime”.
Another ambiguous case is that of Laura Plummer, 33 (pictured above), who risks ten years imprisonment in Egypt merely for having brought a high dose of Tramadol (painkillers) to her ill husband, who resided in a country that is clearly inclined to the use of anti-democratic and authoritarian measures. Let us not forget that Egypt is a location where to this day vicious terror attacks against Christians occur with frequency.
However, what is truly shocking is that similar cases to those mentioned above do not only happen in strictly traditionalist and reactionary Sharia states such as Iran, Egypt or even Libya but have also occurred in the ‘westernised’ and ‘capitalist’ United Arab Emirates.
A young British woman named Asa Hutchinson, 21, may indeed face prosecution in Dubai. The reasons for her arrest in November were unclear, and the investigation was most likely conducted in a superficial manner. The British youngster has been accused of disturbing a man sleeping in the lobby of a hotel room while taking pictures of him with her friends. As fictitious as the story may sound, according to UAE law the accusation is serious enough to have her locked up in a local prison after having manipulated her into signing concession papers written in Arabic.
Tragic incidents involving young British citizens are not new to Sharia states. Britain still hasn’t healed after the homicide of diplomat Rebecca Dykes, 30, in Beirut, Lebanon. Moreover, the British are not the only ones to have suffered tragic fates in certain countries. The murder of the Italian former Cambridge student Giulio Regeni, carried out by Egyptian police authorities in Cairo and the unfortunate events of several French travellers throughout the year have marked a new low in diplomatic relations between European countries and Sharia states.
Something needs to be done, justice needs to be done.
Disclaimer: The content of this post reflects the views of the author, and not necessarily those of MBGA News.
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