DUBAI, UAE, May 09, 2012 /24-7PressRelease/
-- The two brave young daughters of British businessman Safi Qurashi who is currently in Dubai jail are promising to join their dad on hunger strike next month.
In a YouTube video released this week Sara Qurashi aged 13 and Maaria Qurashi aged 10 have vowed to go on hunger strike in support of their father.
In the six minute video addressed to the Ruler of Dubai Sara highlights her dad's case as an example on how the current cheque law is misinterpreted and open to abuse.
Sara says "It's not the law that is the problem. It is the way that prosecutors and courts interpret and apply the law; my dad has paid this money and is the victim and not a criminal. All courts must judge according to the law."
The current legal system assumes guilt the moment a cheque bounces and the courts claim they don't need to investigate the circumstances behind a cheque bouncing, despite the fact the law clearly stipulates that 'criminal intent' must be proven. This also goes against the constitution of the UAE, which states everyone is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
This puts the majority of the UAE expat community at an extremely high risk of imprisonment along with foreign investors who are engaged in business transactions or have taken mortgages, credit cards and loans in Dubai, since they are all required to issue a post dated or security cheque.
The cheque remains in the possession of the lender during the entire finance period and is not insured or protected in any way against fraudulent use.
Therefore, if for example you take a loan, not only must you issue a security cheque for the full amount but in order to mitigate the risk of going to jail, you must at all times maintain the full amount of the loan in your bank account, which defeats the purpose of taking the loan in the first place!
Family of Qurashi claim his case is a proof of this flaw in the current legal system whereby his financial audit report (which was requested by the judge) clearly states that he has paid back the lender the full amount, however since the cheque was banked after such time (instead of being returned) Qurashi was convicted despite being the victim.
This interpretation of the law openly allows cheques to be abused and fraudulently banked as well as be used as tools for bribery and extortion.
The British Government seem to be turning a blind eye to the calls for justice and a fair & legal trial from detained British businessmen currently entering a 2nd week of a hunger strike in Dubai's Al Awir jail.
Sara's website www.justiceformydad.com
and YouTube video seem to be getting an incredible response with supporters calling for action from the British and Emirati authorities for the release of her father.
Two other foreign businessmen Belgian Oliver Loeb and Irish expat Christopher Renehan are now three weeks into their hunger strike to highlight their cheque cases.
Qurashi, Renehan and Loeb are amongst dozens of foreign businessmen on the Hunger Strike in Dubai Jail who are all calling for an end to illegal detention, the UAE constitution to be upheld and the law to be applied correctly.
Notes to Editors:
1. Safi Qurashi, CEO of Dubai based Premier Real Estate, is a property broker who brokered deals for clients and acted as an intermediary in property transactions. Common business practice in Dubai allows for brokers to issue security cheques to potential buyers in exchange for cash which is used by brokers to purchase real estate on behalf of the buyer. After property deals are completed, security cheques are meant to be returned to the broker. In the case of Safi Qurashi, the buyers fraudulently cashed them after the property transactions where completed resulting in false bounce cheque cases being filed against him. As a result, Safi Qurashi, his business partner and accountant have all been sentenced to jail for a total of 16 years amongst them.
2. The foreign national prisoners on Hunger Strike at the Dubai Central Jail are calling for appraisal of the nation's cheque laws, including enforcement of article 88 of federal law and enforcement of Penal Code 401 as per the law. Article 88 states that if more than one cheque has been issued in the same allegation then they would all be treated as the same case and not separate cases. Also Inmates say the notion of criminal intent in the bounced cheque law should not be presumed. Articles (2), (211) and (216) of the UAE Penal Procedures Law, place the burden of proof of all elements of the crime as well as proving the criminal intent, on the shoulders of the Public Prosecution. However the prosecutors assume criminal intent. The men say dishonoured cheques issued by companies should not be viewed as crimes, but as civil cases.
3. The nationalities of those on Hunger Strike include: British, German, Indian, Lebanese, Pakistani, Sudanese, Palestinian, Irish, Saudi Arabia and Emirati (UAE).
4. For more information visit the Hunger Strike campaign website: http://justiceformydad.com/
5. For media enquiries email: JGoldsmith@lobbyist.com