Daughter pleads for her British mother’s release from UAE jail
The 14-year-old daughter of Laleh Shahravesh, a UK citizen currently detained in the UAE, has written to Dubai’s ruler asking for her mother’s safe return to Britain.
Laleh Shahravesh has been imprisoned since March 10 over a facebook comment made in 2016 in which she referred to her ex-husband’s new wife as a ‘horse’.
Read the full letter below.
April 8, 2019
Your Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, My name is Paris Shahravesh Correia Dos Santos (14 years of age), and my mother, Laleh Shahravesh, is and has been detained in your country for 28 days, after our visit to Dubai to pay our respects to my late father, Pedro Manuel Fialho Correia Dos Santos, who passed away on March 3rd 2019.On arrival, we were stopped at Dubai International Airport due to a Police Case filed in 2017, of which neither my mother nor I were made aware at the time it was placed into the system.
The police forced us to sit in the Immigration waiting room for 4 hours, as they tried everything that they could to transfer my mother to the Jebel Ali Police Station, so she could make a statement. However, in order for my mother to make a statement, they had to separate us, due to the law disallowing children from entering police cars.
The police refused to listen to my mother because she was crying, so they began to shout at her constantly, telling us both not to cry. Finally, at midnight my mother was given a document written in Arabic which she did not understand and was given no choice but to sign in order for us leave the airport police station.
This was the beginning of her detainment, when my mother’s passport was taken by The Dubai Police Force on March 10th 2019.I cannot emphasise enough how scared I felt, especially after losing my father just a week before, as I was having to worry about losing my mother as well. Yet even though I felt terrified on the day that we arrived, the sick feeling in my stomach only became worse.
My mother and I spent the next 2 days at the British Embassy, but they were powerless and unable to help us.
On March 13th, we arrived at Jebel Ali Police Station so my mother could make a statement. She was made to sign another Arabic document, this one supposedly being her ‘statement’ which was a mere paragraph, supposedly transcribing my mother’s actual recount which lasted 2 hours of spoken word.
Afterwards, we had to wait for another 10 hours for someone to help us, as we were sent from room to room for the duration of the entire day, intermittently yelled at and then told that we would be helped, before being told that there was nothing that they could do.
A police officer told us to bear with him and wait in a room, as he gathered our information to help us, 3 hours later he left, without our knowledge. Eventually we met the prosecutor, who behaved in exactly the same manner as the officer, and left, without our knowledge, leaving us in an empty police station until 10 o’clock in the evening.The next day I had to leave Dubai without my mother, and without the closure that I had wished to gain from attending my father’s funeral in Dubai. But I had no other choice other than to leave as I had school to attend to.
I have not seen my mother in 23 days, and with every passing day, I feel less hopeful of her return. I ask kindly: please, please return my mother’s passport, and let her come home.
Paris Shahravesh Correia Dos Santos