ICFUAE | International Campaign For Freedom in the UAE

ICFUAE | International Campaign For Freedom in the UAE
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Nico Consari Released after 1.5 Years Arbitrary Detention in UAE

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1 year 2 months

Nico Consari Released after 1.5 Years Arbitrary Detention in UAE

Nico Consari has been released from arbitrary detention in the UAE, Detained in Dubai has revealed today. The businessman has spent 1.5 years under police custody for alleged fraud - charge which has never been confirmed. He remains in conditional bail.

In 2015, British expat worker Mr Nico Corsari was falsely accused of misappropriating funds from Gold Holdings Ltd, a company that he did not work for. Although Mr. Consari worked as a personal advisor to Sheikh Sultan bin Khalifa bin Sultan Al-Nahyan, chairman of Gold Holdings Ltd, he had no connection to the company, its operations or any of its accounts. Even though the Sheikh Sulton requested his immediate release and filed a case against those he felt committed the crime, Mr. Consari continued to be detained in a Dubai police station until now. With no criminal evidence levelled against him, Consari is yet to be officially charged or prosecuted by UAE courts, but the prosecutor has detained him under the justification of 'police investigation' for almost two years. This stands in contravention with UAE regulations which state that suspect cannot be held during an investigation for any more than three weeks.

Radha Stirling, CEO of Detained in Dubai, an organisation that assists people who have been wrongly convicted in the UAE, suggested that “Mr Consari was swept up in what appears to have been an unfocused investigation into a major investment scam perpetrated by a company that he does not work for. His innocence has been irrefutably proved, and his release was even ordered by the judge overseeing the case; but in the UAE, the Public Prosecutor enjoys almost unfettered power over the detainees, and the prosecutor in this case refused to implement the judge's order”.

Despite numerous requests for intervention, Mr Consari's case has drawn little attention from the British government, who are yet to voice any official condemnation of Consari's arbitrary detention. After sustained pressure from Consari, a letter was submitted by the British Embassy to the UAE authorities requesting an explanation regarding the case, but no reply was given, and the embassy have not followed up. Feeling as though he's exhausted his options, Consari stated that “I have lost many things physically, financially, and emotionally. To be honest, I cannot stand this horrible situation and I don't know what more I can do. The police stations are not designed to hold people for such duration's and I am in horrible conditions, my health is suffering”.

Radda Stirling commented that Mr Consari's case illustrates “just how easy it is to end up detained in Dubai”, pointing to a flawed system of patronage that often holds sway over the Emirati legal system in which wealth and power buys influence, and where “people will often use unsuspecting expats as scapegoats to disguise their own wrongdoings in companies”. Detained in Dubai have demanded an urgent investigation into the case of Mr Nico Consari and have called upon foreign governments to do more to warn their citizens of the high risks when working or investing in the UAE.

The case of Mr Nico Consari constitutes a broader narrative of British nationals being detained in the UAE. Earlier this year, Luisa Williams, a 41 year old British citizen suffering from cancer was unable to travel back to the UK for urgent medical treatment after the UAE authorities refused to hand over her passport due to a legal battle over a Facebook post. In recent years, the UAE's judicial system has drawn heavy criticism from rights groups such as Amnesty International for violating basic human rights of both Emirati and non-Emirati citizens and acting in a manner that contravenes international law.


  1. For more information on the case please see

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