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30 April, 2005

Bailing out

It takes no more than fifteen minutes to have an official document translated and typed up in Arabic. Visit the little typing centre outside the Labour Office on Al Ittihad Road, for example, and they'll quickly produce something the police are happy to accept.

So no wonder Tracy Wilkinson's family are pretty pissed off that it took eight weeks to get her doctor's prescription converted into something a witless Emirati court could process, and finally grant bail. As Stephen Jakobi from Fair Trials Abroad comments:

"I honestly feel that is a shambles [after eight weeks] and these things should not be allowed to happen."

Quite apart from the fact that no documents should be necessary anyway for a medication legally available over the counter in another country, and consumed in that country, not the UAE.

This whole affair is desperately embarrassingly example of "justice", tolerance and openness in a country that continually touts itself as an advanced, educated, and tourism-friendly place.

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